Royal Challengers Bangalore 172 for 2 (Kohli 82*, du Plessis 73) beat Mumbai Indians 171 for 7 (Varma 84*, Wadhera 21, Karn 2-32) by eight wickets
and Faf du Plessis
hit scintillating half-centuries as Royal Challengers Bangalore marked their homecoming with a dominating eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians.
The win was set up by Royal Challengers’ bowlers. After inserting Mumbai in, du Plessis used seven of them; except Glenn Maxwell
who bowled just one over, everyone else picked up at least one wicket.
That Mumbai could post 171 for 7 in itself was an achievement. After 15 overs, they were 102 for 5 but Tilak Varma
‘s magnificent 84 not out off 46 balls gave them something to fight with.
Du Plessis and Kohli, though, showed how much under par Mumbai were. The pair added 148 in 14.5 overs for the opening stand, du Plessis hitting a 43-ball 73 and Kohli an unbeaten 82 off 49. Between them, they hit 11 fours and as many sixes. When Kohli hit the winning six, 22 balls were still left in the game.
Impact Player – Behrendorff in for Suryakumar
Mumbai, who had started the game with three overseas players, brought in Jason Behrendorff
in the second innings. He replaced Suryakumar Yadav
, but it made little difference as Behrendorff went for 37 in three wicketless overs. Royal Challengers were in such a comfortable position throughout that they didn’t even use an Impact Player.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium is infamous for being the bowlers’ graveyard. However, that wasn’t the case in the first innings, with the ball coming slightly slower off the surface. Mohammed Siraj
bowled three overs in the powerplay for just five runs and Ishan Kishan’s wicket. Kishan had hit two fours off Reece Topley
in the second over but Siraj created the pressure with dot balls. When Kishan tried to break away, he ended up miscuing one to deep third.
Batting at No. 3, Cameron Green
lasted only four balls and was castled by a Topley yorker. Siraj could have had Rohit Sharma
too in the next over. After bowling three dots in a row to Rohit, Siraj went for a bouncer. Rohit countered it with a pull, only to top-edge it straight up. But Siraj couldn’t hear Dinesh Karthik’s call – blame it on the deafening noise by the spectators – and ended up colliding with the wicketkeeper, and the chance went down. It didn’t prove costly, though, as Akash Deep
had Rohit caught behind three balls later. Rohit made 1 off ten balls; Mumbai ended the powerplay on 29 for 3.
Coming in at 19 for 3, Varma opened his account with a second-ball six. Suryakumar’s wicket in the ninth over left Mumbai at 48 for 4 but Varma kept playing his shots. He hit Maxwell for a six and four off successive balls before scooping Deep four a boundary in the next over.
He found some support from debutant Nehal Wadhera
who hit Karn Sharma
for back-to-back sixes, the second one going landing on the roof over long-on. When he tried it for the third time, he holed out. In his next over, Karn dealt a much bigger blow by bowling Tim David
Varma appeared immune to all that and brought up his fifty in 32 balls. His knock had steered Mumbai to 133 for 7 after 18 overs. Then, Siraj lost his radar and sent down five off-side wides – four of them in a row. To make it worse, Varma picked up two fours as well in the over.
had conceded only 21 from his first three overs but he too bore the brunt now, going for 22 in the last over of the innings. Arshad Khan
, the other debutant on the night, smashed the second ball of the over for a six. Varma followed it with a pulled four before wrapping up the innings with a helicoptered six.
The du Plessis-Kohli show
Mumbai’s left-arm seamers Behrendorff and Arshad found swing with the new ball, but du Plessis defused that threat by using his feet. He went down the track three times in Behrendorff’s second over, hitting one four and two successive sixes.
failed to latch on to a tough return catch from Kohli off his first ball for Mumbai. On the next, Kohli steered him for four, and then went down the track to launch a slower one over long-off.
Du Plessis too enjoyed his luck when Kishan dropped him off Piyush Chawla
in the fifth over, and took the side to 53 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. A couple of overs later, he welcomed Green into the attack with two fours and a six.
Du Plessis brought up his fifty – off 29 balls – with a six off Hrithik Shokeen and celebrated it with another six on the spinner’s next ball. Kohli, despite hitting some eye-catching shots, was playing second fiddle to du Plessis. He took 38 balls for his half-century but by the time du Plessis got out, he had almost caught up with him.
Karthik was promoted to No. 3. He fetched a three-ball duck but Maxwell smashed two sixes in three balls to take Royal Challengers to the brink of victory.