It all happened at Bangalore this evening. After a delayed start to the match, which was later interrupted again by the sudden turning off of the stadium lights, the crowd at the Chinnaswamy weren’t disappointed as the match had much in store till the very end. From Gayle’s early dismissal to Mayank Agarwal’s brilliant finish, from Rayudu’s responsible batting to Pollard’s slam-bang ending – the match had every single bit of entertainment that an average cricket-lover would have wished for. At one instance, with five wickets down for 51, any practical person would have written off MI in the match. But many a times cricket defies logic and common sense and it lived up to its unpredictable nature as Mumbai staged a comeback out of nowhere and finally won the match, thanks to Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu.
Hero of the evening
Ambati Rayudu walked into the middle with MI facing defeat at 51/5. Kieron Pollard was the new man at the other end. Rayudu led the charge from the very start of his innings and Pollard maintained the momentum at the other end. The equation stood at 70 runs from the last six overs when the duo went all guns blazing for it. Luck favored them as they cleared the boundaries with ease and hit the occasional sixes. Rayudu finally remained not out, amassing 81 off 54 balls as Pollard finished the job by hitting a four off Chris Gayle.
The tragic hero
One has got to feel sorry for Mayank Agarwal – the man who butchered Munaf Patel and scored 37 in the last two overs to see his team cross the 170-run mark. He saved the best for the last and hit 4 hits over boundaries in his 30-ball 64. He was RCB’s hero after they lost Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers cheaply. But the bowlers failed to do justice to his efforts and RCB ended up losing the match by 5 wickets.
Flop of the evening
Munaf Patel started off with a spell of 2-0-10-1 including the massive wicket of Chris Gayle. He ended up with the figures of 4-0-54-1, thanks to the thrashing by Agarwal who stole 24 runs in his final over. Every Mumbaikar was vexed with him after RCB’s innings but they must have cooled down a bit after such a great win. Munaf got lucky today as his failure got overshadowed by Rayudu’s bravery.
Contest of the evening
It was a battle between two Indian batsmen. Mayank Agarwal set the radar high with his valiant knock but Rayudu bettered him with a more responsible one in a pressure situation. Both looked in fine form and they can pose problems for the top teams if they go on like this. Great job, we say!
The crucial move
Virat Kohli gave the ball to Gayle in the last over with 14 runs to defend. It was a blessing in disguise for MI as Rayudu was the man on strike. He took a single and gave the strike to the big Caribbean. Pollard started off with a six, followed it up with a four and finished it up with another boundary, this time through the midwicket. Kohli’s move backfired as he suffered from the shortage of an extra bowler as KP Apanna went for 19 runs in his only over.
Where they stand now
Mumbai moves up to 2nd place where they are tied with Delhi Daredevils on 18 points. Bangalore stay fifth and make it all the more difficult for themselves. The top-four race has spiced up quite a lot and one thing is for sure – “this will definitely go down to the wire!”
RCB – 171/6 (20/20 ov)
Mumbai Indians – 173/5 (19.4/20 ov)
Man of the Match – Ambati Rayudu