We all knew that this match was going to be less of a battle between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, and more of a battle between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are India’s captain and vice-captain of the limited overs teams. Mumbai stuttered early on, recovered, powered themselves to a high total, and won the game!
Bangalore won the toss and elected to field on a good batting track at The Wankhede. The RCB camp would’ve been jumping with joy when Umesh Yadav bowled a jaffa to Suryakumar Yadav that cleaned him up, followed by another one to Ishan Kishan, dismissing both batsmen for golden ducks and reducing MI to 0/2 in two balls.
However, RCB is known to let strong positions slip and that’s exactly what they did, allowing Evin Lewis and Rohit Sharma to counter-attack. Lewis was the early aggressor, scoring 65(42), while Rohit joined the party later, after a slow start. He scored 94(52) while the Pandya brothers smashed a few blows as well, taking MI to a commanding total of 213/6.
RCB has the best ‘top-four’ in the league but as a team, they just haven’t been clicking, and 200+ is always tough to chase down anyway. They got off to a brisk start of 40/0 in 4 overs, but it was all downhill from there, with de Kock and de Villiers being dismissed one after the other, and a procession of wickets falling at one end.
At the other end, Virat Kohli held the fort and with the required run rate creeping over 19-20 RPO, he knew there was nothing to do but try and reduce the margin of defeat. He played aggressively at the back-end of the innings and ended with 92(62)*. He was a one-man army last night and was so disappointed with the team’s performance that he refused to wear the Orange Cap when it was presented to him. MI won by 46 runs and registered their first win of the season!
Huge questions will be raised by the RCB management as their bowlers have now conceded 200+ two games in a row. Both RCB and MI now have one win in four games. They will be needing more wins from here on, if they intend on qualifying for the IPL 2018 play-offs. Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma.
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