Mumbai Indians 166 for 5 (Suryakumar 79*, Kishan 25, Siraj 2-28, Chahal 2-37) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 164 for 6 (Padikkal 74, Philippe 33, Bumrah 3-14, Pollard 1-5) by five wickets
A death-bowling masterclass from Jasprit Bumrah, followed by a rollicking unbeaten 79 from Suryakumar Yadav, ensured the Mumbai Indians became the first team to reach 16 points and all but secure their place in the playoffs.
After being asked to bat, the Royal Challengers Bangalore,they rode on opener Devdutt Padikkal’s fifty to move to 129 for 2 in 15 overs. At that stage, they might have been eyeing a total in the range of 190, but Bumrah’s short-ball barrage in the slog overs, headlined by a double-wicket maiden, dragged them back to 164 for 6.
In their reply, the Rohit Sharma-less Mumbai started briskly, with Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan putting on 37 in 33 balls. However, they lost 3 for 35 and when the promoted Krunal Pandya holed out for a run-a-ball 10, the Royal Challengers threatened to turn 107 for 4 into something more than a wobble. Suryakumar’s power and placement, though, thwarted the Royal Challengers’ plans and ushered Mumbai home.
The Padikkal-Philippe union
Josh Philippe, who had replaced Aaron Finch at the top, kept jumping across off with his Steven Smith-esque trigger movement and kept accessing the leg side like he owned it. He punched Bumrah past mid-on and Trent Boult over mid-on before stepping out and lofting Rahul Chahar over extra-cover. Then, when he attempted to hit Chahar over the same region, he swung harder, lost his shape, and was stumped for 33 off 24 balls.
Padikkal, too, had shuffled around his crease to upset the lines and lengths of the seamers in the powerplay. He backed away outside leg, manufactured swinging room and boundaries off Boult and Krunal. James Pattinson made life easier for him by feeding short balls into his hips or pads. Padikkal ran away to his fourth fifth of the season – and his fastest – when he forced Krunal through cover-point for four off his 30th delivery.
Chahar beat the outside edges of Philippe, AB de Villiers, and snagged Kohli’s, but was picked apart by Padikkal. The left-handed opener read his legbreaks, wrong’uns and clattered 33 off 15 balls from Chahar.
After giving up a four to Philippe with the new ball, Bumrah returned in the 12th over and bounced out Virat Kohli for 9 off 14 balls. He also tested de Villiers with a rapid bouncer first-up, but the batsman managed to swerve out of the way. De Villiers then scooped and pulled Pattinson for boundaries, setting up for the death-overs charge. Kieron Pollard, the captain, however, took matters into his own hands and had de Villiers holing out off a high full-toss that dipped below the waistline.
Bumrah then bashed hard lengths or shorter lengths again to dismiss Padikkal and Shivam Dube in a game-changing double-wicket maiden. His final over was similarly unhittable, but it did cost five runs, as he finished with 4-1-14-3. The Royal Challengers finished with 164, which would be 20 runs short, according to Kohli.
The Suryakumar show
Mohammed Siraj and the spinners, though, gave the Royal Challengers a fillip by producing early breakthroughs. Siraj dug one short and had de Kock toe-ending a catch. Then, it was Chahal who had Kishan toe-ending catch with a slow, wide legbreak. Saurabh Tiwary and Krunal, too, fell cheaply, as the asking rate ballooned towards 10.
It was Suryakumar who pricked it with his wide range of strokes. Despite wickets falling around him, he coolly kept pinging the boundaries. He hit three fours in four balls off Steyn and meted out the same treatment to Siraj.
Mumbai’s designated finishers – Hardik Pandya and Pollard – made only cameos on Wednesday. It was Suryakumar himself who finished it off with a four and strengthened Mumbai’s chances of a top-two finish.
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