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The Royal Challengers Bangalore routed the Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets on Wednesday night to showcase their play-off credentials and move into 4th place in the Indian Premier League points table. The defeat for Mumbai drags them right back into the mix too, as they are far from comfortable, sitting just a point further ahead in third place. Put in to bat, Mumbai slumped to 2/2 in the second over, and never really recovered, posting a below par 141/6 in their 20 overs. Mumbai's bowling, which has been exemplary so far in the tournament, was made to look rather ordinary by Bangalore's top order with Chris Gayle once again coming to the party, posting an unbeaten 82 from just 59 balls to steer his side to a comfortable win. Virat Kohli chipped in with a handy 36, and shared a crucial 94 run stand with the former West Indian skipper to see his side comfortably home.
The Mumbai Indians hoping to cement their place in the IPL play-offs, entertained one of the many teams chasing a top four spot, the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a late evening start at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. With the stadium located right next to the sea, there was bound to be some moisture in the air and that played a part in the team selection tonight. Virat Kohli, captaining RCB once again today, won the toss and opted to bowl first. There were a couple of changes along expected lines in the Bangalore camp with R Vinay Kumar and Sourabh Tiwary returning to the playing eleven, the latter recovering from illness. Muttiah Muralitharan kept his place and was given spinning company by Syed Mohammad. Abhimanyu Mithun and P Parameshwaran both failed to impress in their opportunity in the last game and returned to warming the benches with allrounder Harshal Patel also given another chance.
The big news though was emanating from the Mumbai camp as their super West Indian Kieron Pollard was fit again, and returned to the side. Dwayne Smith, after his last over heroics against Chennai, also retained his place with Robin Peterson the unfortunate foreigner to miss out. That meant Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha earned a recall with Munaf Patel forced to sit out.
Bangalore proved that they had made the right decision at the toss with Zaheer Khan getting some swing early on with the new ball. Mumbai managed just a single off the first over, but it was the rejuvenated Vinay Kumar who did the early damage removing James Franklin (1) and Rohit Sharma (0) within the space of four deliveries. Franklin was caught at third man, while Sharma was trapped plumb leg before. The next few overs continued to be tight with Tendulkar fortunate to survive a leg before appeal and a couple of shies at the stumps which would have caught him short of the crease. Tendulkar responded to the challenge in a way only he can, smashing Vinay Kumar for three consecutive boundaries to take a little bit of the pressure off the home side. Despite that 6th over flourish, Mumbai had posted just 25 runs on the board in the powerplay.
Mumbai's plight took a turn for the worse in the 9th over as Harshal Patel walked away with a story his grandchildren would tell theirs. The medium pacer removed Tendulkar with a short ball which took the top edge of the master's bat, and Patel judged the catch nicely to send dismiss the legend for 24.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik had the job of rebuilding the innings, armed with the knowledge that the side had been able to defend some paltry totals this season, including just 120 a week or so ago against Pune. The duo decided to play some conventional cricket and steered the team to 60/3 at the end of 12 overs.
Mumbai decided to up the tempo at the end of the 13th over with Dinesh Karthik depositing Syed Mohammad into the stands. In the very next over a couple of more boundaries were scored off Patel, but the youngster came back well to pick up Ambati Rayudu for 22. Karthik continued to ruin Mohammad's figures with another couple of boundaries meaning that the spinner finished with figures of 0-38 to perhaps end his participation in this season's IPL. Muralitharan meanwhile showed the youngster how it's done by removing Karthik (44) and Dwayne Smith (2) on consecutive deliveries to stall Mumbai's charge at 101/6 at the end of 16 overs.
Mumbai got the late push they needed with Kieron Pollard (21 from 13) and Harbhajan Singh (20 from 12) landing some meaty blows to push the score up to an interesting 141/6. It was an in-between kind of target, and it was interesting to see how Bangalore approached the run chase.
Bangalore made a cautious start to their chase with Malinga taking the new ball for a change. The super bowler from Sri Lanka bowled three overs on the trot, but crucially for Bangalore failed to pick up a wicket. At the end of the first 8 overs, Bangalore had kept themselves in the hunt by posting 47 runs with Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan still holding fort out in the middle.
Dilshan fell for 19 in the very next over, trapped leg before by Pragyan Ojha, but Chris Gayle decided to take on the left-arm spinner, smashing him for three consecutive sixes in his following over to bring the chase on track. Virat Kohli too joined in the fun, tonking Kieron Pollard for 6, and with 15 runs coming off the 13th over, the Royal Challengers were well placed at 94/1 heading into the last 7 overs.
Gayle and Kohli soon brought the asking rate to under a run a ball, and with just 21 needed from the last 4 overs it was RCB's game to lose. And there was no way they were going to lose this one with Gayle and Kohli wrapping up the match with 2 overs to spare, Kohli sealing the deal with a six.
It was a solid win for the Royal Challengers, and the Bangalore side are the latest to join the race for a play-off spot and have usurped the Rajasthan Royals from 4th place by a point. The Royal Challengers Bangalore continue to be on the road this week, but fortunately for them have just a short distance to travel as they head to Pune on Friday to take on the Warriors. The Indians meanwhile have a huge game coming up when they travel to Eden Gardens to take on the high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders in the 4pm kick-off on Saturday.
Mumbai Indians: Franklin, Tendulkar, Sharma, Karthik, Rayudu, Smith, Pollard, Harbhajan (c), Malinga, RP Singh, Ojha.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Dilshan, Gayle, Kohli (c), Tiwary, de Villiers (wk), Agarwal, Syed Mohammad, Khan, Harshal Patel, Vinay Kumar, Muralitharan
Mumbai Indians 141/6 (20 overs, 7.05rpo)
D Karthik 44 (39) M Muralitharan 2-24
S Tendulkar 24 (27) H Patel 2-24
Royal Challengers Bangalore 142/1 (18 overs, 7.88rpo)
C Gayle 82* (59) P Ojha 1-25
V Kohli 36* (25)
Bangalore win by 9 wickets with 12 balls to spare
- 11/05/2012 19:01 - IPL Match 57: RCB cruise to 35 run win as Ganguly-less Warriors are brushed aside
- 10/05/2012 18:52 - IPL Match 56: Chennai squeeze out tense win in Rajasthan as Morkel, Srikkanth guide them home
- 10/05/2012 15:01 - IPL Match 55: Warner century makes mockery of tough chase as Delhi return to the top