Royal Challengers crushed in their own backyard

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Robin Soderling

Cricket News
  • Royal Challengers crushed in their own backyard

It did not take much out of the Mumbai Indians as they coasted their way to a thumping 9-wicket mauling of hosts,Royal Challengers Bangalore,at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on a warm and humid night.The Chinnaswamy Stadium did not live up to its expectations of being a high-scoring venue as depicted in all the recent world cup matches played at the venue as the hosts found the going tough on a wicket which had nothing but a little spongy bounce in it.Mumbai Indians skipper,Sachin Tendulkar would be proud of his decision to bowl first on this wicket after calling the correct side of the coin as he saw his bowlers get on top of the opposition right from the word “go”.

            Lasith Malinga continued his fabulous form with the ball as he ran in and cleaned up opener,Mayank Agarwal,on the opening ball of the match,via a fast,full,deadly accurate and late-swinging snorter to which the opener had no answer whatsoever.Virat Kohli came in at one-down to partner Tillakaratne Dilshan in the very first over of the innings.Virat Kohli survived an almightily close LBW shout off a Malinga Yorker which crashed onto his foot at a rapid pace and went onto strike two handsome strokes to the boundary before he tried to heave one through the leg-side field,only managing to top-edge it to South Africa-based wicket-keeper,Davy Jacobs who completed a safe catch,reducing the hosts to 19-2 in just the 5th over of the innings.Munaf Patel,who has just switched franchises from Rajasthan Royals to Mumbai Indians,was just as impressive as he lately been,bowling an immaculate line and almost giving away nothing,despite bowling to destroyers such as Dilshan,Kohli and AB de Villiers.

            Dilshan and de Villiers rebuilt the innings from there on,playing the ball on merit and above all,playing it safe,without taking any sort of a risk on any of the bowlers.They rotated the strike with great skill and contributed the odd boundary after a considerable time gap.Dilshan looked far from the Dilshan the world knows,with the Sri Lankan opener,who is normally known as a boundary-hitter,playing against his nature to a great extent.AB de Viliers,on the other hand was also not in his very own,consuming 36 balls for his 38 which included just 3 shots to the boundary and one grand strike over the ropes.  

            Even the military medium pace of Kieron Pollard did the trick for Tendulkar,with the West Indian all-rounder picking up a couple of important wickets,one of them being that of the set AB de Villiers who gave a rather easy return catch to the tall man in the 17th over of the innings,leaving the Royal Challengers at 110-3,seeking a much-needed onslaught.

            Asad Pathan walked in and went a couple of deliveries later,fending off a Lasith Malinga delivery,aimed towards the stumps.He was unable to bother the scorers,leaving the hosts struggling even more at 112-4 in the 18th over of the innings.Then the talented Saurabh Tiwary came out to take the charge to the Mumbai bowlers as he dispatched Malinga convincingly over the extra cover region for a boundary and then also whipped Harbhajan Singh for a lovely boundary.On the other end,Tillakaratne Dilshan was playing very much unlike himself,unable to place the ball in the gaps and rather finding the fielders everywhere he hit the ball.He,however,finished off the innings in grand fashion by hoisting his Sri Lankan team-mate Malinga for a hefty six over the mid-wicket fence.Royal Challengers finished their innings at 140-4 in the allotted 20 overs,setting a target which Dilshan,as he later conceded,felt was reasonable and tough to get on that particular wicket.

            The Mumbai Indians started off in spectacular fashion as Davy Jacobs clobbered Zaheer Khan over the mid-on region for a breath-taking six in the very first over of the run-chase.The Wicket-keeper/batsman also whipped Zaheer Khan for yet another maximum in the left-armers next over.Boundaries were coming frequently off Zaheer Khan and test discard,Abhimanyu Mithun before Australian left-arm seamer,Dirk Nannes burst into the attack,cleaning up Davy Jacobs for 22.

            Ambati Rayudu joined Sachin Tendulkar at the crease and played a sensational innings,displaying strokes all around the wicket which contained a flurry of boundaries.Only Daniel Vettori was able to put some brakes on the scoring rate while all others struggled with rhythm and direction.Abhimanyu Mithun was introduced into the attack in the 6th over and was greeted by a typical Sachin Tendulkar drive,straight down the ground.Ambati Rayudu also slmmed him for a couple of blistering fours and derailed the seamers confidence and line right away.Daniel Vettori tried everything to get a breakthrough.He brought an the man with the golden arm,Dilshan,but he was twice swept away to the boundary by the little master to register two more boundaries.Vettori threw the ball to Asad Pathan who was perfectly pulled away for a magnificient boundary by Rayudu before the Newzealander tried Virat Kohli for a second go with the ball but he was dealt with severely by a set Tendulkar.Royals’ premier fast bowler,Zaheer Khan was brought back for another spell but Ambati Rayudu used the left armer’s angle and cut the bowl though point for four before hitting a couple of more lusty blows through the leg side and got to a well-deserved half-century in the process.While,on the other end,Sachin Tendulkar also cruised along to another IPL fifty.This effort of Tendulkar and Rayudu snatched away the breathin space of the Bangalore bowlers,making them hapless as they saw the Mumbai Indians coast away to a remarkable 9-wicket victory,reaching the target with 9 balls to spare.



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