Royal Challengers Bangalore 172 for 2 (Kohli 82*, du Plessis 73) bats Bombay Indians 171 for 7 (Varma 84*, Wadhera 21, Karn 2-32) for eight wickets
Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis hit a brilliant half-century as Royal Challengers Bangalore marked their homecoming with a commanding eight wicket victory over Mumbai Indians.
The victory was created by the Royal Challengers bowlers. After inserting Mumbai, du Plessis used seven of them; except for Glenn Maxwell who bowled just one, everyone else picked up at least one wicket.
That Mumbai could post 171 for 7 in itself was an achievement. After 15 overs they were 102 for 5 but Tilak Varma’s superb 84 from 46 balls gave them something to fight with.
Du Plessis and Kohli, however, showed how low Mumbai was. The pair added 148 in 14.5 overs for the starting position, du Plessis hitting a 73 from 43 balls and Kohli an unbeaten 82 from 49. Between them, they hit 11 fours and as many sixes. When Kohli hit all six winners, there were still 22 balls left in the game.
Impact Player – Behrendorff enters for Suryakumar
Mumbai, who had started the game with three foreign players, brought on Jason Behrendorff in the second innings. He replaced Suryakumar Yadav but made little difference as Behrendorff went for 37 in three overs without a wicket. The Royal Challengers were in such a comfortable position throughout that they didn’t even use an Impact Player.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium is famous as the graveyard for bowlers. However, that was not the case in the early innings, with the ball coming off the surface a bit slower. Mohammed Siraj bowled three overs into the powerplay for just five runs and Ishan Kishan’s wicket. Kishan had hit Reece Topley two fours in the second over, but Siraj created the pressure with dot balls. When Kishan tried to escape, he ended up missing one to a third deep.
Batting at No. 3, Cameron Green lasted just four balls and was castled by a Topley yorker. Siraj could have had Rohit Sharma in the next over as well. After throwing three straight points at Rohit, Siraj opted for a bouncer. Rohit countered with a jerk, only to push him back up. But Siraj couldn’t hear Dinesh Karthik’s call, he blames the deafening noise from the spectators, and he ended up colliding with the goalkeeper, and the chance was gone. It didn’t prove costly though, as Akash Deep caught Rohit three balls later. Rohit made 1 of ten balls; Mumbai finished the power play on 29 for 3.
Entering at 19 for 3, Varma opened his account with a six on second ball. Suryakumar’s wicket in the ninth left Mumbai at 48 for 4, but Varma kept playing his shots. He hit Maxwell for a six-and-four on successive balls before taking out Deep four at a boundary in the next over.
He found some support from debutant Nehal Wadhera, who pounded Karn Sharma for straight sixes, the second landing long on the roof. When he tried for the third time, he holed out. In his next over, Karn dealt a much bigger blow by bowling to Tim David.
Varma was immune to all that and took out his fifties in 32 balls. His hitting had taken Mumbai to 133 for 7 after 18 overs. Siraj then lost his radar and sent five offsides, four of them in a row. To make matters worse, Varma also collected two fours in the over.
Harshal Patel had conceded just 21 in his first three overs, but now he took the brunt of it too, with 22 in the last over of the innings. Arshad Khan, the other debutant of the night, finished off the second ball of the over for a six. Varma followed with a shot from four before closing out the innings with a chopper from six.
Mumbai’s left-arm closers Behrendorff and Arshad found swing on the new ball, but du Plessis disabled that threat using his feet. He fell down the court three times in Behrendorff’s second over, hitting a four and two successive sixes.
Jofra Archer was unable to hold on to a difficult return catch from Kohli on her first ball for Mumbai. On the next, Kohli led him for four and then went down the track to throw a slower one over a long drive.
Du Plessis also enjoyed his luck as Kishan knocked him out of Piyush Chawla in the fifth over and led the team to 53 unbeaten late on the power play. A couple of overs later, he welcomed Green into the attack with two fours and a six.
Du Plessis brought out his fifty, from 29 balls, with a six from Hrithik Shokeen and celebrated with another six on the next roulette spin. Kohli, despite making some flashy shots, was playing second fiddle behind du Plessis. He grabbed 38 balls for his half century, but by the time du Plessis came out, he had nearly caught up with him.
Karthik was promoted to No. 3. He went for a three-ball duck, but Maxwell broke two sixes off three balls to bring Royal Challengers to the brink of victory.