Royal Challengers Bangalore made a flying start to its IPL (Indian Premier League) campaign with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
Skipper Faf du Plessis (73, 43b, 5x4, 6x6) and Virat Kohli (82 n.o., 49b, 6x4, 5x6) powered RCB to the 172-run target with 22 balls to spare.
The MI attack was utterly disappointing, serving up overpitched freebies to du Plessis and Kohli. The batters were happy to accept the gifts, putting on a match-winning 148-run stand. RCB raced ahead of the curve at 53 for no loss at the end of the PowerPlay, and when the 100-run mark was reached in just 10.3 overs, the writing was on the wall.
Kohli received a couple of lives. Archer put down a tough return catch when the batter was on seven, and Hrithik Shokeen dropped a sitter when Kohli was on 68.
After being put in to bat, a brilliant unbeaten 84 from Tilak Varma helped MI put up a respectable total. Tilak’s knock rescued MI, which was struggling at 20 for three at one stage. Tilak hammered nine sixes and four fours to record his highest IPL score. Tilak finished the MI innings with a helicopter shot which sailed over long-on for a six.
Apart from Tilak, none of the MI batters looked convincing. Skipper Rohit Sharma (1, 10b) looked completely out of sorts, while Ishan Kishan (10) and Cameron Green (5) fell cheaply.
Suryakumar Yadav was expected to pull MI back on track, but the middle-order maverick was taken out by off-spinner Michael Bracewell for 15.
RCB fast bowler Mohammed Siraj was incisive with the new ball. He kept a tight lid on the scoring rate with a stump-to-stump line. Fellow speedster Reece Topley hurt his shoulder while fielding, and left the ground for treatment.
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