R Vinay Kumar picked up three wickets in one over, that of Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu, to put the Mumbai Indians firmly on the back foot. However, the home side recovered well thanks to some lusty hitting down the order by Zaheer Khan and useful contributions from Kieron Pollard and R Sathish. 151, however, was still not going to be enough against Bangalore’s charged up batting line-up, and on a pitch that was highly batting-friendly.
Jacques Kallis continued his unbeaten run, slamming yet another 50, while Manish Pandey and continued with their big hitting spree as the Royal Challengers charged to victory without any trouble, and claimed their spot at the top of the table.
Clearly, it was that three-wicket over from Vinay Kumar that turned the tide in Bangalore’s favour. At 74 for 3 in the 11th over, Mumbai were still in the game courtesy of Sachin Tendulkar, who was looking good on 25. But, Vinay got rid of Rayudu, with a well-directed bouncer, a plan which had worked exceedingly well against the Rajasthan Royals.
Then Sachin, who was denied the strike for quite some time, was cleaned up when he shuffled too far and left his leg stump exposed. The skipper batted well for his 25, but the team needed a lot more from him on this day. If Sachin’s dismissal wasn’t bad enough, Bravo got a dose of his own medicine when an off-cutter from Vinay Kumar accounted for him. Bravo fell for one and Mumbai had slipped ton 76 for 6 in no time.
No doubt Vinay Kumar bowled a great spell, but he was greatly assisted by the ones who bowled earlier. Praveen Kumar swung the both ways and kept the Mumbai openers on their feet. At the other end, the aggressive Dale Steyn took out danger man Sanath Jayasuriya with a wonderful outswinger.
Kallis then came on and proved his merit with the ball claiming Aditya Tare, a smart bouncer doing the trick yet again. Next man Saurabh Tiwary, coming off the back of two 50s, had some troubles as well with the rising delivers, but was good enough to fend some off to the ropes. He was fooled, however, by Anil Kumble’s googly and had to be satisfied with 25.
In Mumbai did manage to cross 150, it were due to the efforts of Sathish and Pollard. Judging the situation well, they rotated the strike for a while. Towards the end, Pollard had to do what he was chosen for, some mighty hits. He managed to dispatch Praveen for a six and a four, but was unluckily dismissed as he guided a full toss from Steyn into the hands of Virat Kohli.
Sathish soon fell to a brilliant catch by Rahul Dravid in the deep. Zaheer Khan then punished Kumar’s length deliveries in the final over, claiming 16 runs.
It was far from enough though as Kallis and Pandey continued from where they left off in the previous game. The Mumbai bowlers tried their best, but there was nothing on offer for them. And, in the end, it was Bangalore did it rather royally.
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