IPL 8: Transformed Mumbai Indians outplay RCB to win... at last
Bengaluru: A transformed Mumbai Indians outfit survived a South African onslaught to register their first win in IPL 8 with a 18-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday night.
Sent into bat, Lendl Simmons and Unmukt Chand first smashed strokeful half-centuries to power Mumbai Indians to an imposing 209 for seven and then veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (3/27) weaved his magic to restrict RCB to 191 for seven.
Chasing an imposing 210 for a victory, RCB did not have the best of starts and kept losing wickets a regular intervals to hamper their cause.
In fact, RCB's chase heavily relied on an explosive start from Chris Gayle but it was not to be as in spite of getting two lives the West Indian cut a sorry figure scoring just 10 runs off 20 balls.
Gayle got his first life in the second ball of RCB's innings when he was dropped by Simmons off Mitchell McClenaghan and then in the eighth over he was dropped again by Lasith Malinga.
But the dropped chances did not have an adverse affect on Mumbai Indians as an off-colour Gayle perished in the ninth over when Harbhajan went through his defence.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli (18 0ff 18) showed glimpses of his potential but he too perished in search of quick runs, caught by Ambati Rayudu off McClenaghan in the 11th over.
Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik also promised but he too faded away under the pressure of a stiff asking rate. He was caught by Unmukt off Lasith Malinga's bowling.
From there on it looked like a Herculean task for RCB to overwhelm the Mumbai target but it was not improbable as long
as AB de Villiers was there.
De Villiers took the attack to the opposition and raced his way to 41 off just 11 balls before the pressure of asking rate took a tall on him. De Villiers smashed five fours and three huge sixes during his knock to keep RCB afloat before he was caught by Kieron Pollard off young Jasprit Bumrah.
David Wiese (47 not out off 25 balls), who picked up four wickets for 33 runs on debut, and Iqbal Abdullah (20 off 15)
tried their best towards the end but it proved to be a too tall task to achieve.
Earlier, showing a refreshingly positive intent, Mumbai Indians' batsmen punished a sloppy Royal Challengers Bangalore to post 209 for seven after being asked to bat first.
Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma and Unmukt Chand against Royal Challengers Bangalore during IPL 8 match in Bengaluru on Sunday. Pic/PTI
Though Mumbai Indians, who have lost all their four games thus far, continued to chop, change and experiment with their batting line-up, opener Lendl Simmons (59, 44b, 9x4, 2x6) and India Under-19 captain young Unmukt Chand (58, 37b, 8x4, 2x6) laid the foundation for a tall score.
Simmons and Chand put on 72 runs for the second wicket after the early exit of Parthiv Patel (12) to lay a solid foundation for a big total.
Joining in the mayhem was skipper Rohit Sharma (42, 15b, 3x4, 4x6), coming in at No.4 instead of his customary opening slot, as RCB captain Virat Kohli was left to rue his decision to field first on winning the toss.
Rohit Sharma, batting quite beautifully, added 63 runs for the third wicket with Chand who proved to be a revelation as the youngster performed exceedingly well.
Except for the first over bowled by left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah, who conceded just two runs with the new ball, the RCB attack appeared toothless as the visiting batsmen made merry.
Seamers Varun Aaron leaked 50 runs in his four overs while fellow paceman Abu Nachim was slammed for 43 in his three before South African all-rounder David Wiese, playing his first game this IPL season, restored some sanity by taking three wickets in his fourth over to finish with four for 32.
Wiese, who had foxed opener Parthiv Patel with a slower delivery, also removed Kieron Pollard (5), Ambati Rayudu (0) and Rohit Sharma in four balls, but by then the Mumbai Indians had a 200-plus total in their sight.
Mumbai Indians 209 for 7 in 20 overs (Lendl Simmons 59, Unmukt Chand 58, Rohit Sharma 42; David Wiese 4 for 33, Yuzvendra Chahal 2 for 28).
Royal Challengers Bangalore 191 for 7 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 41, Wiese 39 not out; Harbhajan Singh 3 for 27).