Dominant RCB outplay MI by seven wickets
Dubai: Putting up an all-round show, Royal Challengers Bangalore humbled defending champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their IPL Twenty20 match at the Dubai International Stadium. After restricting Mumbai Indians to a modest 115 for nine, RCB cantered to their second successive win in the tournament in 17.3 overs.
RCB though had a shaky start when left-handed opener Nic Maddinson was cleaned up by pacer Lasith Malinga for 16 and Zaheer Khan wreaked havoc in the very next over with two wickets.
The left-arm pacer sent skipper Virat Kohli for a duck and trapped Sharjah hero Yuvraj Singh lbw for nought in the space of three deliveries. Wicketkeeper Aditya Tare though ruined Zaheer`s hat-trick chance when he dropped Yuvraj on the very next ball after Kohli`s dismissal.
But Mumbai`s cheer was shortlived as Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers soon got a grip of the situation to stitch a 99-run unbeaten partnership. Parthiv mixed the right dose of caution and aggression to score an unbeaten 57 off 45 deliveries. His innings was laced with seven boundaries.
De Villiers at the other end played the sheet-anchor`s role to perfection, making an unbeaten 48-ball 45 with the help of three fours and two sixes. Earlier put into bat, Mumbai batsmen failed to counter the clinical bowling display by. The Mumbai openers started on a decent note but soon lost the plot against the RCB pacers. South African pacer Albie Morkel drew first blood after scalping Mike Hussey for 16 in the 4th over of the innings.
Tare also couldn`t last long as pacer Varun Aaron induced a top-edge from the batsman which landed in the safe hands of Maddinson in the deep.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then bowled a magnificent spell to bag two quick wickets, giving away just 17 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma (2) was a prized scalp for the Haryana tweaker and soon the big-hitting Kieron Pollard also fell to his guile.
Ambati Rayudu and Corey Anderson then tried to stem the rot, stitching together a 31-run fifth-wicket partnership, but Mitchell Starc sent the two batsmen back in the dug-out in his third over to choke MI. Rayudu was caught at long off for a fighting 35 as De Villiers took his second catch while Anderson followed him soon after to give Starc a hat-trick chance.
The Australian left-arm pacer did not get the hat-trick but ended with impressive figures of 2/21. Ashok Dinda joined the party when he packed Zaheer back for a duck and Mumbai slipped further. Harbhajan Singh tried to counter attack with a boundary in his run-a-ball eight-run stay but Aaron soon picked his second wicket.
The win takes RCB into a position of strength very early into the tournament after their eight-wicket win against Delhi Daredevils in Sharjah while Mumbai certainly need to pull up their socks after their second successive loss.
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