A struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday completed a morale-boosting win, defeating Mumbai Indians by 14 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Chasing 168 to win, Mumbai lost Ishan Kishan in the first over — the wicketkeeper-batsman registering his third duck in four innings as a full, inswinging delivery from Tim Southee snuck through Kishan's gate.
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Umesh Yadav subsequently rattled the visitor with two wickets off successive balls. Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged leg before wicket trying to whip an incoming delivery and captain Rohit Sharma was undone by the huge inward movement; the ball deflecting off the inner shoulder of the bat en route to a flying Quinton de Kock behind the stumps as Mumbai slumped to 40 for three at the end of the Powerplay.
Hardik (50, 42b) and Krunal Pandya (23, 19b) began their repair work, with the former playing the role of the aggressor while the latter kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos. The game threatened to slip out of Bangalore's grasp in the 16th over when Colin de Grandhomme conceded 17 to tilt the scale in Mumbai's favour.
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However, Mohammed Siraj nipped the game in the bud with Krunal's wicket off the penultimate over as RCB emerged the victor in front of a boisterous home crowd.
Vohra fires at the top
Earlier, Sharma won the toss and inserted RCB in to bat. Mumbai seemed to have done its homework as it opened the bowling with off-spinner Duminy on a turning track.
But the South African was soon hit out of the attack thanks to opener Manan Vohra, who first slog swept Duminy over square-leg for six before clobbering two boundaries and as many sixes off his next over.
At the other end, de Kock struggled to time the ball — the southpaw's lone boundary coming off a thick outside edge — and a good, low catch at mid-wicket by Sharma put a stop to his brief stay. He was out for seven off 13.
Baz vs Markande
Leg-spinner Mayank Markande, introduced in the seventh over, was welcomed with a Brendon McCullum reverse sweep that raced to the third-man fence for four. Markande, nevertheless, lodged himself into the wickets column in his next over, trapping Vohra in front for a 31-ball 45; the 24-year-old was beaten on the sweep.
Soon after, McCullum, quite magically, turned back the clock, displaying the batting nous that many thought had been lost. When the Kiwi scooped a Hardik full-toss on the middle stump over wicketkeeper Kishan's head for a six, it reminded many of his blazing hundred (87-ball 116) at Christchurch against Australia in 2010.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli and McCullum tore Markande's bowling to shreds, collecting 20 runs off his third over as RCB breached the three-figure mark in 72 balls. It was then time for Kohli to show his class as the right-hander danced down the track to launch Krunal over the deep mid-wicket fence to bring up the duo's 50-run stand off just 24 balls.
It took a special effort from Hardik at mid-off to break the entertaining stand; the all-rounder catching McCullum short of his crease with a direct hit at the bowler's end.
Runs dried up for RCB after McCullum's dismissal.
The host finished with 167 on the board, courtesy Colin de Grandhomme who hammered three sixes off Mitchell McClenaghan's last over.
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