|Mumbai Indians players CM Gautam, Harbhajan Singh and Rohit Sharma after their victory, at the Wankhede, on Tuesday
Mumbai: Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with a sparkling half-century before Mumbai Indians (MI) rallied to comfortably defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 19 runs in their Indian Premier League VII match, here, on Tuesday.
Invited to bat, MI rode Rohit’s 35-ball 59 not out and Kieron Pollard’s handy 43 off 31 balls to post a stiff 187 for five. In reply, RCB lost their way from 94 for one in the 10th over to be restricted to 168 for eight at the Wankhede Stadium.
The Bangalore-franchise started their run chase at a brisk pace with Parthiv Patel and Chris Gayle at the helm. The duo stitched a quick 53-run stand before the wicketkeeper-batsman was castled by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Patel struck five fours for his 26 but Gayle was the aggressor of the two, carting the bowlers all over the park.
He hit Pawan Suyal for two sixes and an equal number of fours in the third over, with the bowler going for 28 runs. RCB dominated the start and scored 43 runs in three overs.
However, Gayle couldn’t continue the onslaught and was bowled by Harbhajan in the 10th over. His 24-ball 38 was laced with three fours and as many sixes.
RCB captain Virat Kohli was given a reprieve when he was dropped on 32 by Jasprit Bumrah at short-fine leg off Lasith Malinga.
Bumrah, however, managed to dismiss the dangerous AB de Villiers (9) cheaply in the next over, when the batsman attempted a sweep shot.
Kohli couldn’t capitalise on the advantage handed to him and departed five balls later, thanks to a brilliant catch by Corey Anderson at long-off. At that stage, RCB were 119 for four, requiring 69 runs off 39 balls.
Mumbai wrested back the momentum when the visitors further lost two quick wickets, as Kieron Pollard put his football skills to good use to kick the ball at the stumps to run out Yuvraj Singh and caught Mitchell Starc at cover off Malinga in the next over.
Rilee Rossouw struck a 14-ball 24 but it was an uphill task for RCB after the South African was dismissed in the penultimate over, with the team needing 29 runs off 10 balls.
Earlier, Rohit combined with Pollard to forge a 60-ball 97-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Rohit's 68-minute innings yielded three fours and four sixes, while Pollard struck six boundaries.
Put into bat, MI started well but lost Aussie opener Ben Dunk (15) in the first ball of the fourth over. He shared a 25-run stand with wicketkeeper-batsman CM Gautam and had struck a couple of fours against Ashok Dinda before paying the price for a loose shot that was caught by Yuvraj Singh off Harshal Patel.
MI looked in control for a while before losing wickets in quick succession. Ambati Rayudu and Gautam added 46 runs off 29 balls for the second wicket before Dinda castled Rayudu in the eighth over.
Gautam departed in the next over. He struck three sixes and two fours in his 28-ball 30.
Corey Anderson, who hit a six over long on off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, perished while attempting the same shot two balls later, reducing the hosts to 84 for four in the tenth over.