An umpiring howler off the last deliver cost Royal Challengers Bangalore dearly as Mumbai Indians pipped the hosts by six runs largely due to Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant spell at the death in an IPL encounter on Thursday. Needing six to take the game into Super Over, Lasith Malinga’s final delivery to Shivam Dube was a no-ball that was missed by the on-field umpires as RCB managed 181 for 5 in reply to 187 for 8 by Mumbai Indians.
What hurt them more was AB de Villiers, who nearly took his team to victory with an unbeaten 70 off 41 balls would have faced the free-hit. Both umpires C Nandan and ICC Elite Panel’s S Ravi bungled completely leaving Virat Kohli seething in anger. But nothing can be taken away from fit-again Bumrah’s mastery at the death as he singlehandedly won it for MI with superb 17th and 19th overs.
During chase, Kohli signalled his intentions at the beginning itself hitting Jasprit Bumrah for three consecutive boundaries in one over. Hardik Pandya was slashed through the point and cover driven for successive boundaries.
Mayank Markande, who dismissed Parthiv Patel (31 off 22 balls) with a googly was hit for a straight boundary by Kohli. On the day, Kohli became the second man after Suresh Raina to complete 5000 runs in Indian Premier League.
De Villiers, who got a reprieve when Yuvraj Singh failed to anticipate a sharp chance in the slip cordon, got his act together and dispatched Markande into the stands. De Villiers then got his second six off Lasith Malinga to finally get into the groove. With the partnership one short of 50-run mark, Bumrah came back for his second spell and bowled a sharp bouncer and the RCB skipper couldn’t maintain his balance trying to execute a pull-shot as Hardik Pandya completed the formalities.
However De Villiers, who was set by then was in a mood to take Malinga to the cleaners. A shadow of his old self, Malinga was missing length most of the times and two huge sixes in the 16th over of the Lankan slinger saw De Villiers get the equation down to 41 off 24 balls. But Bumrah kept MI in the match giving away only one run in the 17th over as 40 was required off the last three overs. Put into bat, Hardik muscled a couple into the stands and one out of sight to help Mumbai Indians recover from a middle-order collapse and post a decent 187 for 8.
Pandya hit three sixes and two fours in his unbeaten 32 off 14 balls after Yuzvendra Chahal (4/38 in 4 overs) reduced MI from a comfortable 124 for 2 to 147 for 7. MI lost five wickets in a space of 3.3 overs for only 23 runs. This was after a vintage Yuvraj Singh was raising visions of a six sixes over with three maximums in Chahal’s 14th over. However he wasn’t fourth time lucky as Chahal’s courage to maintain flighting the ball yielded results.
Chahal then removed Suryakumar Yadav (38 off 24 balls) and Kieron Pollard in quick succession to bring RCB right back in the match. It was then left to Hardik Pandya to score the bulk of the 30 runs in the final two overs to take MI to a fighting total on a placid batting track.
In fact, Hardik’s third and final six went out of the stadium as he gestured to the dressing rooms pointing his bulging biceps. However at the beginning it looked like MI would cross the 200-run mark as Rohit Sharma (48 off 33 balls) and Quinton de Kock (23 off 20) added 54 for the opening stand but it was foiled by Chahal’s lion-hearted bowling.