IPL 2019, Match 7, RCB vs MI: The controversial last ball of RCB's chase is the Moment of the Match
In Match 7 of IPL 2019, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) took on Mumbai Indians in a jam-packed Chinnaswamy stadium. The atmosphere was something to savor, as is always the case when IPL action engulfs Bengaluru.
And RCB vs MI didn't disappoint one bit, as it was a cracker of a game.
After RCB won the toss they decided to bowl first on a true, solid surface which gave a lot to the batsmen to cheer about. Mumbai Indians were propelled by a solid innings by their captain Rohit Sharma, who departed after a stroke-filled 48.
RCB pulled things back after that, reducing MI to a precarious 146/7 with three overs to play. That is where their nemesis - bowling at the death overs - came back to haunt them.
From a position of strength, RCB allowed MI to get to 187/8 courtesy a late flourish from Hardik Pandya, who mauled 32 off 14 balls.
Still, RCB would have fancied their chances to get 188 on this deck. They would've been wary of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga, but looking at the depth in their batting lineup they would have gone in hoping to overpower MI.
The chase got off decently, with Moen Ali and Parthiv Patel providing a reasonable start. Then out came Virat Kohli who looked keen, aggressive and a bit agitated.
Kohli was clearly not happy with the fact that RCB had batted so horribly against CSK, and he wanted to put on a show for the fans to savor.
The chase was going rather smooth with Kohli crossing a personal milestone of 5,000 IPL runs, yet another feather in the King's cap. The Kohli-ABD partnership was threatening to take away the game from MI's hands.
But Jasprit Bumrah had other plans.
His slippery bouncer got the better of Virat Kohli and then it was all down to De Villiers, another recurring problem for RCB. The South African looked scratchy and rusty at the start but as the innings progressed, the vintage ABD made an appearance. A classic example of that would be his mind-boggling pull shot off Bumrah.
ABD was running out of partners though; Colin De Grandhomme struggled in his knock of 2 runs. Shivam Dube kept up the hopes of countless RCB fans who had thronged to the stadium with a thundering six off the second ball he faced.
The match finally reached its climax, a dramatic one at that. RCB required 17 runs to win the game in 6 balls. Lasith Malinga delivered some really outstanding death bowling under such immense pressure, and showed everyone why he is the best in the business.
RCB required 7 to win off the last ball with the young Dube on strike. Malinga delivered a seemingly perfect ball which Dube couldn't connect, and RCB lost by 4 runs.
But did they really deserve to lose? Once the match got 'over', the cameras pointed to a glaring, unacceptable mistake made by the umpires.
Malinga had overstepped the line by one inch, which meant that the last ball was in fact not a legal one. Ideally De Villiers should have got another chance of finishing the match (he and Dube crossed ends off the shot that Dube hit), and he would've had only five runs to win the match for MI.
Malinga's no-ball that never was, then, is our Moment of the Match. It was not spotted by the on-field umpires, and what's utterly shocking is that even the third umpire, with all the technology at his disposal, didn't call back the players.
This was a grave mistake which took away RCB's chance of winning a hard-fought match.
Virat Kohli's words in the post match presentation sums it up the best: "We are not playing club cricket, this is the IPL. The umpires had to be more aware and use technology better as that clearly was a no-ball."
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