By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
THE MEGA FIGHT between Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians (MI) lived up to the pre-match expectations. It produced a run-a-minute thriller, keeping the fans on the edge of the seats till the final ball.
After several twists and turns, RCB squeezed past Mumbai Indians in a Super Over in the Dream11 Indian Premier League match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Requiring eight runs in the Super Over, RCB edged past their traditional rivals on the last ball when Kohli flicked Jasprit Bumrah’s low full-toss to the mid-wicket boundary when the scores were tied 7-7 in the Super Over.
For most part of the match, RCB were in control. The team was eyeing an easy win after putting up a strong total of 201 for 3 on the board.
However, Ishan Kishan (99: 58 balls, 2×4, 9×6) and Kieron Pollard (60 not out: 24 balls, 3×4, 5×6) staged a spectacular turnaround in the last five overs. At the end of the 15th over, MI were struggling at 112 for 4 and needed another 90 runs from 30 balls. Like Sunday when Rahul Tewatia and Sanju Samson turned the match on its head with flurry of sixes and fours against Kings XI Punjab, Kishan and Pollard repeated the impossible act on Monday. However, the duo’s efforts went in vain as it could not finish it off like the way Tewatia and Samson did last night for Rajasthan Royals.
Needing to score 19 in the 20th over, Pollard kept MI firmly in contention despite the loss of Kishan, who was dismissed a run shy off his century. Pollard levelled the scores (201) by hitting a boundary to force the Super Over.
Earlier put in to bat, three explosive half-centuries by RCB’s top-order batsmen – Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch and AB de Villiers – propelled their team to pile up a strong total of 201 for the loss of 3 wickets. RCB made their intentions quite clear from the word go. They needed a win badly to stay in contention for a play-off berth after losing miserably against Kings XI Punjab in their previous outing.
Padikkal and Finch set the ball rolling with an aggressive batting display. The left-right combination of Padikkal and Finch frustrated the MI bowlers as they put on 81 for the opening wicket in 9 overs. Finch was the first to depart when he was caught brilliantly at the fence by Keiron Pollard off Trent Boult. The Australian ODI captain slammed 52 off just 35 balls with the help of 7 fours and a six.
Much was expected from Virat Kohli but he disappointed yet again. Kohli was caught by his opposite number Rohit Sharma off Rahul Chahar after scoring just 3 runs off 11 balls. It was the third consecutive failure in as many innings for the RCB captain. Padikkal, the hero for RCB in the first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, hammered his second fifty in his third IPL match. The tall southpaw belted 54 off 40 deliveries which included five boundaries and a couple of big sixes.
With plenty of wickets in hand, RCB went all out in the final few overs. In the last five overs, RCB piled up 78 runs for the loss of Kohli. AB de Villiers blasted an explosive unbeaten 55 off just 24 balls which had four boundaries and equal number of sixes. The veteran of many a battle, de Villiers displayed his typical acrobatic big-hitting shots to send the ball across the ropes.
Shivam Dube added the much-needed punch towards the end with a blistering undefeated 27 off just 10 balls. The tall left-handed batsman from Mumbai pummelled three huge sixes to take RCB beyond the 200-run mark. Trent Boult picked up a couple of wickets, while Rahul Chahar took a wicket but other MI bowlers struggled on a batting-friendly pitch.
RCB moved up to the third spot with four points from three matches. MI were at the fifth place with just two points from three outings.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 201 for 3 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 55 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 54, Aaron Finch 52, Shivam Dube 27 not out; Trent Boult 2 for 34, Rahul Chahar 1 for 31) tied with Mumbai Indians 201 for 5 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 99, Kieron Pollard 60 not out, Hardik Pandya 15, Quinton de Kock 14, Rohit Sharma 8; Isuru Udana 2-45, Washington Sundar 1-12, Yuzvendra Chahal 1-48, Adam Zampa 1-53).
Super Over: Mumbai Indians 7-1 lost to RCB 11-1. Man-of-the-match: AB de Villiers (RCB).