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Mumbai prevails in heated cricket contest
MUMBAI—A calculated charge from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard amid indisciplined bowling from Royal Challengers Bangalore set up Mumbai Indians’ victory, their second on the trot at home. Rohit and Pollard came together at 84 for four in the tenth over and accelerated late to add 97 in the next ten. Combined with 25 extras, including 12 wides, it was well beyond Royal Challengers’ reach, though they had reached 94 for one in the tenth over. Harbhajan Singh then claimed Chris Gayle for 38, and Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers went soon after as the visitors’ challenge melted away.
Mumbai Indians’ top order of Ben Dunk, CM Gautam and Ambati Rayudu could not really get going on a pitch with pace and bounce, but the numerous extras served up by the Royal Challengers quick bowlers ensured the run-rate stayed reasonably high. The visitors hit back with quick wickets as the halfway mark of the innings approached, when Pollard joined Rohit.
With only Aditya Tare and the bowlers to come, the pair was forced to play cautiously for some time. The first five overs of the partnership produced only 29, despite some poor fielding. With about six overs left, Rohit and Pollard gradually opened up. Amid throwing his bat at Mitchell Starc in an ugly flare-up, Pollard contributed 43 off 31.
Rohit cut loose in the penultimate over bowled by Varun Aaron. A couple of top-edges flew fine for six, there was a straight hit for four and a sliced six over deep cover as 24 came off the over. Rohit lofted Starc for four over extra cover off the last ball of the innings to surge to 59 off 35 as Mumbai Indians ended on 187 for 5. Gayle and Parthiv Patel responded with an opening stand of 53 in five overs. Parthiv did the early running before Gayle took Pawan Suyal for four successive boundaries in the third over. Rohit turned to Harbhajan, and after a quiet opening over, the offspinner had Parthiv bowled on the slog-sweep off the first ball of his second.
Gayle wasn’t done yet. He swung Harbhajan for consecutive boundaries in the same over. Rohit persisted with Harbhajan, who sent down a tight third over. Harbhajan was given a fourth on the trot, the first four balls of which went for 12. Gayle attempted a slog-sweep off the fifth, missed and was bowled for 38 off 24. In walked de Villiers and calmly reverse-paddled Harbhajan first ball for four. When Mumbai Indians reprieved both batsmen in the space of four deliveries, it seemed the chances could cost them. Royal Challengers needed 72 off the last eight with Kohli and de Villiers looking good.
However, de Villiers was bowled in the 13th over, missing after having backed too far across to Jasprit Bumrah. Kohli swatted Suyal straight to long-off in the next over. The asking-rate climbed rapidly now. Pollard ran out Yuvraj Singh, and though Rilee Rossouw tried, Royal Challengers had ceded too much ground with all those extras.
SCORES: Mumbai Indians 187 for 5 (Rohit 59*, Pollard 43) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 168 for 8 (Gayle 38, Kohli 35, Bumrah 2-22, Malinga 2-29, Harbhajan 2-33) by 19 runs
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