Mumbai Indians produced a clinical performance to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 18 runs in a high-scoring affair as they registered their maiden win in this year’s Indian Premier League.
Sent into bat, Lendl Simmons and Unmukt Chand first smashed strokeful half-centuries to power Mumbai Indians to an imposing 209 for seven and then veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh picked 3/27 as the 2013 champions restricted RCB to mere 191 for seven.
Chasing an imposing 210 for a victory, RCB did not have the best of starts and kept losing wickets a regular intervals to hamper their cause. In fact, RCB’s chase heavily relied on an explosive start from Chris Gayle but it was not to be as in spite of getting two lives the West Indian cut a sorry figure scoring just 10 runs off 20 balls. Gayle got his first life in the second ball of RCB’s innings when he was dropped by Simmons off Mitchell McClenaghan and then in the eighth over he was dropped again by Lasith Malinga.
But the dropped chances did not have an adverse effect on Mumbai Indians as Gayle perished in the ninth over when Harbhajan went through his defence.
From there on it looked like a Herculean task for RCB to overwhelm the Mumbai target but it was not improbable as long as AB de Villiers was there. De Villiers took the attack to the opposition and raced his way to 41 off just 11 balls before the pressure of asking rate took a toll on him. De Villiers smashed five fours and three huge sixes during his knock to keep RCB afloat before he was caught by Kieron Pollard off young Jasprit Bumrah.
David Wiese (47 not out off 25 balls), who picked up four wickets for 33 runs on debut, and Iqbal Abdullah (20 off 15) tried their best towards the end but it proved to be a too tall task to achieve. Earlier, opening the batting Simmons made 59 off 44 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes, while Unmukt smashed his way to 58 off just 37 balls which included eight fours and two hits over the fence to set the stage for Mumbai’s score.