Suryakumar Yadav (68 not out off 37 balls) played another gem of a knock. He also finished the innings off with a big six. Yet, the Mumbai Indians couldn’t open their account in this IPL.
Like defending champions Chennai Super Kings, the five-time winners too suffered their fourth straight defeat with Royal Challengers Bangalore giving them a seven-wicket hammering at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday.
It was only last Wednesday at the same venue when a Pat Cummins blitzkrieg had left Mumbai dumbfounded. On Saturday, it was young opener Anuj Rawat (66 off 47 balls) and Virat Kohli (48) who punished Mumbai.
It was mainly due to Rawat that RCB could score in excess of 6-per-over in their 50-run opening partnership. He lifted his game to register his maiden IPL half-century.
Agreed, RCB enjoyed better batting conditions after winning the toss and opting to bowl first, but one felt Mumbai missed a genuine wicket-taker upfront who could complement Jasprit Bumrah.
Besides, Mumbai made matters worse for themselves when Kohli was dropped on 30 in the deep by Dewald Brevis off Basil Thampi’s bowling. But Kohli, it seemed, wasn’t destined for a much-awaited IPL fifty as he was adjudged lbw off Brevis’ first ball in the IPL.
Kohli asked for a review immediately, but the on-field umpire’s decision stayed as there was no clear evidence of an inside edge off his bat before the ball hit his pad. No wonder Kohli was livid while walking back to the dugout.
One ought to give credit to the RCB bowlers as well, especially Harshal Patel (2/23), Wanindu Hasaranga (2/28) and Akash Deep (1/20), as barring Suryakumar, they were able to keep most of the other Mumbai batsmen quiet.