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IPL 9: Rohit guides Mumbai Indians to win over RCB at Wankhede

Skipper Rohit Sharma laid the foundation with a stylish half-century as Mumbai Indians won their first match at Wankhede in IPL 9 by thrashing Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets

Mumbai Indians registered their first win at home by steamrolling Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.

Rohit Sharma during his match-winning innings against RCB at Wankhede on Wednesday
Rohit Sharma during his match-winning innings against RCB at Wankhede on Wednesday. Pic/AFP

Krunal Pandya had another good day, this time with the ball, claiming the wickets of RCB's most prominent batsmen Virat Kohli (33) and AB de Villiers (29), while Jaspirt Bumrah finished with 3-31 which proved crucial in restricting RCB to 170-7.

MI skipper Rohit Sharma's 27th Indian Premier League half-century and a 19-ball unbeaten 39 (4x4, 3x6) from Kieron Pollard, who missed MI's last match due to food poisoning, chased down the total with 12 balls to spare.

Mumbai Indians openers once again floundered with Parthiv Patel departing for five in the second over of the innings. However, the ploy to have Ambati Rayudu at No 3 again worked well for the MI as he and Rohit (62) and Rayudu (31) put up MI's best-ever partnership of the tournament so far with 76 runs for the second wicket. There were no flashy strokes, but calculated risks.

Rohit lost his partner Rayudu immediately after he took a break to get his leg massaged. Rayudu did not connect well on his slog sweep and was caught by Kane Richardson at deep midwicket off Iqbal Abdulla.

Rohit's huge six
Rohit's six going down on his one knee that landed on Level II of the Sachin Tendulkar Stand off Abdulla had the crowd on their feet. The boundary Rohit hit in that same over is why people are in awe of his batting. The wrist work and timing on that shot towards midwicket was admirable. Rohit, however, got carried away in that over and Abdulla got his second big MI wicket on the last ball of his third over.

Abdulla was successful in removing Jos Buttler too, who belted him for two consecutive sixes during his 14-ball 28. Pollard finished it off in style, slamming Shane Watson for a six and two fours.

In the absence of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul gave RCB the start they wanted with a 14-ball 23 which included two consecutive sixes and a four before he poked at one to be caught behind off Mitchell McClenaghan.

The way Kohli and De Villiers started to find their feet against the MI bowlers, one expected another batting masterclass from the two giants of international
cricket.

However, a bit of misjudgment in the shot resulted in Kohli holding out to Tim Southee at long off. Pandya was thrilled to break the 59-run second wicket partnership.

Three balls later, he was over the moon when de Villiers was stumped, dragging his backfoot outside the crease while going for the drive. The 63-run partnership between Travis Head (37) and Sarfaraz Khan (28) ensured RCB put up a fighting total.

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