Mumbai Indians are getting in the groove by the midway stage of the tournament. Their second successive win against RCB have put in the third place with points tied with DC at second place. It’s a great place to be in by the mid-way and Mumbai will look to push on from here.
As has been the trend, Mumbai won the toss at Wankhede and decided to bowl first. Behrendorff got the big fish, Virat Kohli, in the third over. Patel and AB de Villiers took the score to 49 by 7th over when Mumbai removed Patel. As De Villiers and Ali formed a partnership thereon Mumbai made sure they are not able to score at a heavy rate. In the end, Lasith Malinga came back at death and applied the brakes. Because of Malinga, RCB could score just 27 in the last three overs losing 4 wickets.
Chasing a subpar 172, Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma started brilliantly scoring 70 in 7 overs without losing a wicket. However, both Rohit Sharma and De Kock fell in the 8th over. Suryakumar Yadav steadied the ship with Ishan Kishan who was the aggressor of the two. Krunal Pandya's agonizingly slow innings of 11 off 21 made things difficult for MI. However, with 22 needed off last 2, Hardik unleashed a flurry of boundaries to get over the line with an over to spare.
Lasith Malinga was at his best against picking up 4 wickets while conceding 31 runs in 4 overs. He broke the back of RCB batting at the death. Hardik Pandya and Jason Behrendorff took one wicket each. Behrendorff, however, was expensive conceding 49 in 4 overs. De Kock’s 40 at the start of the innings and Hardik Pandya's 37 run blitz, in the end, were the two top scores for MI. Rest of the batsmen chipped in with enough runs to secure a victory.
RCB are sinking and none, not even Virat Kohli, seems to bail them out. They have to win all the games here on and even then the qualification to the playoffs seems unlikely. The fact is they do not have good enough bowling to defend the scores they put on board.
Losing the toss batting first, RCB lost Kohli early on. Patel and AB de Villiers steadied the ship without losing any more wicket in the powerplay. Then, Moeen Ali joined De Villiers for a 95 run partnership and took the score to 144. The Royals looked set for a big finish in the last three overs. But, Malinga intervened with 4 wickets and de Villiers untimely run-out sucked the momentum in the end.
A target of 172 was never going to enough at Wankhede. Royals let Mumbai openers score freely at 10 an over from the beginning. Moeen Ali pegged them back a little with twin blows in 8th over. Chahal too was good. But the rest of the bowlers missed their spots and Hardik eventually got Mumbai over the line.
AB de Villiers, top-scored for RCB with 75 off just 51 deliveries at a strike rate of about 150. Moeen Ali too registered a half-century with similar strike rate. Apart from these two, only Parthiv Patel (28) could score in double figures. Moeen Ali starred with the ball too picking up 2 wickets and conceding just 18 in 4 overs. Chahal supported him well by picking 2 wickets and conceding just over 6 runs in 4 overs. However, the rest of the bowlers went for over 10 an over costing the match to RCB.
Mumbai Indians will play the Delhi capitals next away from home on 18th of April 2019. Delhi have come back strongly in the tournament and are sitting at the second spot with a string of wins under their belt. This will match will decide if Mumbai and Delhi switch places or Delhi continues to be at the second spot behind CSK.
After all this, RCB are not yet out of the tournament. However, their chances are very bleak. Every game is a knockout game for them now. With that in mind, they would come back strongly against the Knight Riders away from home on 19th April 2019. It will be interesting to see if they play Dale Steyn on Friday.
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