Electrifying atmosphere, quality line-ups and a belter of a pitch – today’s match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore had all the ingredients to be a thrilling encounter.

Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Date 20 Apr 2016
Venue Wankhede Stadium
171/4 (18)   170/7 (20)
Indians won by 6 wickets

Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bowl first

The pitch at Mumbai is known to be favorable to the batsmen with very little to at times no assistance for the bowlers. Kohli is known for his aggressive play which translates into his aggressive captaincy tactics; which perhaps resulted in him making 6 changes to his side after their lost to Delhi Daredevils, which had left made their vulnerability with the ball quite visible.

The changes were : Binny for Rasool, Travis Head for Gayle, Richardson for Wiesse, Iqbal Abdullah for Chahal, Aaron for Arvind and Rahul for Kedar Jadhav.

While, Mumbai Indians made only one change to replace Guptill with Pollard.

McClenghan extracted the bounce ideally

The tactics from Mumbai Indians bowlers was quite clearly to extract some bounce out of the wicket and McClenghan extracted the bounce ideally in his first over; bowling at a pace of 140kph+, hitting Rahul on his helmet, he did fall onto the ground but quickly recovered to complete a single. The electric atmosphere in the stadium reached absolutely new highs.

However it wasn’t long until the 2 RCB openers in Kohli and Rahul realized Mumbai Indian’s bowlers tactics as the rigid line from McClenghan resulted in him going for 2 sixes and a four in his 2nd over but he did manage to grab Rahul’s wicket in the same over; back of a length delivery which Rahul nicked off to 1st slip (Harbhajan completing an easy catch).

Kohli and Villiers

Kohli and Villiers took the innings forward, making the most of the powerplay overs; 49/1 after six was RCB’s score. It seemed at one stage that this dynamic duo will be unstoppable and RCB can set eyes on a total in excess of 200 but Mumbai Indians pulled them back with a flurry of wickets. From 90/1, RCB collapsed to 100/4 with KH Pandya playing a pivotal role with the ball – grabbing the crucial wickets of Kohli and Villiers.

RCB close at 170

The innings got some momentum through the young guns in the side i.e. Travis Head and Sarfraz Khan – both strong to their leg side, their hard hitting in the later part of the innings ensured that RCB set a target of 171 for Mumbai Indians to chase.

Welcome, Travis Head!

For those who are unfamiliar with Travis Head; he played against India in the latter’s tour to Australia earlier this year, Head didn’t have a huge impact on the series but he’s known for his hard hitting in Australia’s big-bash (IPL style t20 league), where he plays for the Adelaide Strikes. Head is viewed as a strong potential in Australian domestic circuit.

Rayudu opens with Patil

Mumbai Indians left Guptill out of this match which forced them to make changes in their opening slot, it was Rayudu who opened along with Parthiv Patel. Patel departed early and as we had mentioned in our post match report for Mumbai India’s last match; Rohit Sharma is best utilized when he bats top 3 in the batting order and that’s what happened today and Sharma promoted himself from 2nd to 1st down.

Enter, Sharma

Rayudu and Sharma took Mumbai Indians innings forward with a few minor hiccups in their running calls.

Fun fact : Rohit Sharma has had most run outs in IPL, 26 to be precise. He has been run out 8 times and got his partner run out 18 times.

Why in a hurry Indians?

Once Rayudu departed for 31, there was a sudden urgency shown by the Mumbai Indians to accelerate on the run rate and a few sixes from Rohit Sharma and Buttler got them closer to the target. It was this push to get ahead of the required run rate which resulted in Rohit Sharma giving away his wicket to Iqbal Abdulla, with Villiers completing the catch at the boundary. Abdulla soon got the wicket of Buttler and it seemed as if Mumbai Indians might be getting themselves out of this winning situation but it wasn’t to be – courtesy of a ripping innings from Pollard.

And the match finishes two overs early

A 40 off just 19 balls from Pollard guided the Mumbai Indians to a safe win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, winning with 2 overs still to spare.

It has been yet another formidable performance from the team chasing. 12 wins for team’s chasing out of 13 matches makes it seem that teams in this IPL season have got a sure shot recipe to success – but will it continue for long?

For now, IPL is continuing on it’s trend of upsets. Mumbai Indians after losing 3 out of 4 matches has managed to win over the strong looking (at least on paper) Bangalore’s side at least in terms of batting but the visibly weak bowling lineup has made it almost impossible for them to defend a total; maybe chasing is their only option to get some respite from losing! They’re 1 win out of their 3 matches (losing to teams at the bottom of points table, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians).

Pre-Match predictions were as follows

Predicted XI

Mumbai Indians

Rohit Sharma (Captain), Martin Guptill, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler (wk), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh. Mitchell McClenaghan, Vinay Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli (Captain), Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul, Sarfraz Khan, Stuart Binny, Parvez Rasool, Sreenath Aravind, Kane Richardson, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal

The Mumbai Indians are a franchise cricket team representing the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra in the Indian Premier League. The Royal Challengers Bangalore are a franchise cricket team based in Bengaluru, Karnataka that plays in the Indian Premier League. One of the original eight teams in the IPL, the team has made two final appearances in the IPL, losing both. The two teams will play in the 14th match of IPL 9 on 20th April 2016 at the Wankhede Stadium.

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