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All-Round Mumbai Demolish RCB’s Playoffs Hopes

In the 31st match of the fascinating Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition, Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians (MI) recorded a brilliant performance to eclipse Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by a convincing 5-wicket margin at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. RCB batting pair of AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali compiled a remarkable partnership for the third wicket to guide their team to an imposing first innings total. However, the score would have been much more had Lasith Malinga not pulled off things nicely with a terrific four-wicket haul.

The MI opening duo comprising of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock started off the second innings in a blazing manner to relieve the pressure of the run-chase into mere pieces. However, the matters did became tensed in the last few overs, but then Hardik Pandya smashed a blistering cameo to steer MI towards a splendid victory. After conceding their seventh loss of the season, the Virat Kohli-led team has been virtually knocked out of the tournament with mathematical calculations remaining.

De Villiers and Ali’s combined entertaining blitz propel RCB to 171

MI skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first because he reckoned that the Mumbai wicket usually tends to play better in the second half. MI new ball bowler Jason Behrendorff got his team off to an excellent opening start, claiming the prized scalp of Virat Kohli off a cracking delivery in just the third over of the innings. RCB skipper’s opening partner, Parthiv Patel then took Behrendorff for remand, smashing him for 19 runs in the next over, but his innings was also cut short by Hardik Pandya in the form of a short dismissal.

After those two early jitters, the duo comprising of Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers joined hands to resurrect the RCB innings from the troublesome situation. The pair entertained the jam packed Wankhede crowd with some remarkable power-hitting during the brilliant partnership of 95 runs. De Villiers played a staggering innings of 75 runs off just 51 balls which included 6 fours and 4 sixes, while his partner at the other end, Moeen also smashed a quick-fire half-century off 32 balls which consisted of 5 effortless sixes and 1 four. But towards the end, Lasith Malinga bowled amazingly well to pick four crucial wickets and in turn limited RCB to a total of 171 runs.

Rohit-de Kock’s opening blitz and Pandya’s late onslaught deflates RCB bowling

The two MI openers, skipper Rohit Sharma and wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock got their team off to a scintillating start. The opening pair absolutely demolished the RCB bowling line-up, blasting a phenomenal total of 67 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. After playing a beautiful innings with the bat, Moeen Ali started off things brilliantly with the ball as well, dismissing both the openers in a single over to help RCB stage a comeback in the chase. Ishan Kishan then tried to stamp his authority over the RCB spinners, striking three monstrous sixes, but eventually he too perished due to some smart bowling from Yuzvendra Chahal.

Both Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya then were found struggling with timing and the pressure bearing had a toll on Yadav who lost his wicket to Chahal in the 16th over. Towards the end, the entire responsibility rested on the shoulders of Hardik Pandya to guide his team home. And as the doctor ordered, Pandya played a terrific cameo knock of 37 runs off just 16 balls to help his team cross the finishing safely with an over to spare.

Brief Scores:

RCB: 171/7 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers-75, Moeen Ali-50; Lasith Malinga 4/31, Hardik Pandya 1/21)

MI: 172/5 in 19 overs (Quinton de Kock-40, Hardik Pandya-37*;Moeen Ali 2/18, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/27)

Result: Mumbai Indians won the match by 5 wickets.