Royal Challengers Bangalore 167 for 7 (Vohra 45, Pandya 3-28) beat Mumbai Indians 153 for 7 (Pandya 50, Southee 2-25, Umesh 2-29, Siraj 2-8) by 14 runs

Umesh Yadav took two wickets off consecutive deliveries with the new ball, Ishan Kishan fell for a golden duck and Royal Challengers Bangalore lost to Mumbai Indians by 46 runs. Two weeks later, Umesh was on a hat-trick with the new ball against Mumbai again, Kishan bagged another golden duck, his third in four innings, but this time Umesh’s opening burst also included Rohit Sharma’s first-ball duck and the Royal Challengers bowling line-up sustained the pressure throughout for once to defend 167 on their home ground and move up to fifth place after only their third win from eight matches.

The defending champions, meanwhile, are back in seventh place and need to win all their remaining six matches lest they wish to rely on other teams to help them stay in playoff contention. Rohit opted to bowl and a combined bowling show from the spinners and Hardik Pandya in the death overs was restricting Royal Challengers to under 150 until Colin de Grandhomme‘s 10-ball 23 lifted them in the last over. Eventually, the early loss of wickets hurt Mumbai this time and even though the Pandya brothers seemed up to the task of scoring 62 runs from the last five overs, some pin-point bowling with pace variations sealed it for the hosts.

RCB and the death overs

Virat Kohli had bowled Umesh and Yuzvendra Chahal by the 15th over yet again and the Pandya brothers had the cushion of Ben Cutting to follow in the chase. Among the quicks, only Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj had two overs left each so Kohli decided to give the 16th to de Grandhomme. He conceded 17, and Mumbai needed 45 from 24 only to see a different story unfold this time. Siraj and Southee bowled a stirring mix of length deliveries, pace variations and wide yorkers to prevent the Pandyas from hitting down the ground. Siraj conceded only one boundary in his last two overs, Southee allowed Mumbai five little singles in the 18th over and Siraj also had Krunal caught at point for 23 to give the visitors a stiff equation of 25 from six. Hardik then hit Southee’s offcutter to long-on and Cutting connected well with only two of the remaining five deliveries. Southee finished with 2 for 25 and a Man of the Match award.

Even though their bowling contingent turned the story around, the death overs stung Royal Challengers’ batting line-up this time. They were 123 for 3 with Kohli on 29 and five overs to go, easily set for 175. However, Jasprit Bumrah had two overs left, and Hardik bowled offcutters and slower ones consistently to remove Mandeep Singh, Kohli and Washington Sundar in the 18th over for only two runs. Bumrah didn’t get all his yorkers right but the batsman couldn’t middle many either. Only one of his final 12 deliveries went to the boundary and there were five dots among them as well. So, Royal Challengers found themselves 143 for 7 with one over to go. Fortunately and decisively for them, de Grandhomme smacked three sixes off the last four balls, including a free hit, for a competitive total.

The costly Mumbai overs

Barring three expensive overs, Mumbai conceded only 101 runs in 17 overs on Tuesday night. Most of the Mumbai bowlers strangled the batsmen, not letting any of them, except de Grandhomme, finish with a strike rate of over 150. It was the remaining three overs that Royal Challengers cashed in on to hammer 66 runs.

The first of those was the fourth over, by JP Duminy. Opener Manan Vohra smacked the part-time spinner for 20 runs off the first four balls with two sixes and as many fours in the 22-run over. Duminy was probably used in the Powerplay because of a left-handed opener – Quinton de Kock – but bowled only one ball to him out of 12. The second expensive over was Hardik’s after Brendon McCullum had scratched his way to nine off six balls. In the 10th over, he dispatched two full-tosses for consecutive sixes, the first of them a no-ball, and then struck the fourth legitimate delivery, a knuckleball, through the covers for four. Twenty off the over. It shot their run rate above eight an over but there was more to come, right at the end.

Mitchell McClenaghan started the last over impressively with three singles before de Grandhomme launched an offcutter over midwicket, collected two down the ground, hit a six off a no-ball and ended the innings with a free hit he smoked over long-off. Royal Challengers had gone from 146 to 167 in only three legitimate deliveries.

Mumbai’s spinners stifle RCB early on

Rohit surprisingly decided to open the bowling with Duminy in a spin-heavy first nine overs and the move worked brilliantly except in that fourth over. Duminy extracted sharp turn and bounce in the first over with five dot balls and almost had Vohra caught at midwicket for 6. McClenaghan used a mix of back-of-length and slower deliveries to concede only seven in his first two overs and had de Kock caught at midwicket for a 13-ball 7. Seeing the turn on offer, Rohit bowled Krunal and Mayank Markande from overs six to nine to see them beat the bat, bowl stifling lines and concede only 24 runs, including Vohra’s wicket for 45.

Mumbai were similarly shackled in the middle overs but that was down to the early wickets and even though Hardik batted before his brother for a slightly brisk fifty, he and Duminy had to do a lot of consolidation after they were 47 for 4 in the eighth over. Umesh brought two in sharply to trap Suryakumar lbw for 9 and had Rohit inside edge one next ball to de Kock diving full-length behind the stumps. Kishan was bowled by Southee in the first over.

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