Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: May 14 2012
Mumbai Indians 173 for 5 (Rayudu 81*, Pollard 52*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 171 for 6 (Agarwal 64, Dilshan 47) by five wickets
The Royal Challengers hosted the Mumbai Indians for the 62 match of the IPL 2012. Both sides were competing for a play-off place coming into this match and defeat likely to end those hopes for either side.
After a delayed start the Mumbai Indians won the toss and chose to field. The rain and overcast conditions looked set to suit the Mumbai bowlers which was reason enough for Harbhajan to bowl first. In the opening overs the conditions certainly did favour the bowling side but a sparkling contribution from Agarwal took the home team to 171, a total that had looked unlikely for much of the innings.
The Royal Challengers struggled in the first two overs with Gayle and Dilshan only able to score 7 runs. The situation got much worse for Bangalore in the 3rd over as Munaf Patel picked up the wicket of Gayle, who chopped the ball onto his stumps. This was followed by Kohli and Dilshan having a horrible mix up which resulted in the run out of the RCB captain, Kohli. RP Singh then bowled an over that went for only two runs as the Royal Challengers limped to 13 for 2 after four overs.
Munaf however has had a habit of losing his cool in the IPL 2012 and he gifted the Royal Challengers an over that conceded 21 runs. In the fifth over Munaf bowled 3 front foot no-ball and a wide in consecutive deliveries to give RCB no less than four free hits in one over.
Fortunately for the Mumbai Indians they have a wealth of bowling to call upon and Malinga and Harbhajan bowled the next four overs as the Indians reasserted themselves in the innings. Malinga was conceded just ten runs in those overs whilst Harbhajan picked up the wicket of Tiwary to put the Royal Challengers under real pressure. When Pollard picked up the wicket of AB de Villiers in the 12th over it look as though, even with Dilshan still at the crease, Bangalore would stutter to a score of around 150.
RP Singh returned to bowl the 17th over and Mumbai picked up two wickets. The first was Dilshan who was bowled by a full toss. Dilshan had looked out of sorts all innings with the fact that his 47 runs came from 50 delivers attesting to this. In the batsman’s defence the delivery that bowled him did reverse swing slightly but an in form Dilshan would've expected to despatch such a wayward ball to the boundary. The second was Vinay Kumar who was run out looking for a second run by an excellent piece of fielding by Dwayne Smith on the cover boundary. At 134 for 6 with two overs remaining the RCB looked as though they would struggle to reach even 150.
Agarwal, who came into the two final overs with 28 runs from 20 balls, had other ideas. He scored 12 of the 13 runs Malinga conceded in the 19th which is a fine achievement in itself but it was his final over heroics that were most noteworthy. Munaf Patel was looking to make amends for his horrible third over but was unable to do so as he served up a variety of half volleys and full tosses as he searched for the block hole. Agarwal made the most of the friendly bowling and took 24 runs, which included two 4's and two 6's, from the final over to take his side to 171 and his personal score to 64 from just 30 balls.
The Royal Challengers had looked unlikely to post a competitive score but Agarwal's wonderful innings took them past a competitive total and to a good one.
The RCB seamers knocked over the Mumbai top order easily with the top three falling inside the power play. Tendulkar was caught at point from the first ball he faced. Gibbs ran himself out at the start of the second over and when Sharma fell in the fourth RCB were strong favourites.
The Royal Challengers picked up two more wickets with Muralitharan accounting for Karthik and HV Patel taking the wicket of Dwayne Smith who gave an easy chance to point.
In the 12th over one of the light towers failed and forced a halt to proceedings. The delay was such that the Duckworth-Lewis method threatened to come into play. The fault was eventually resolved with no over being lost.
The break benefited the Mumbai Indians with Rayudu and Pollard having time to compose themselves before launching their onslaught. Rayudu was the hero as the RCB bowling fell apart.
The Royal Challengers seam attack couldn't contain either of the Mumbai batsmen with only Muralitharan looking dangerous. The Mumbai men chose to take no risks against Murali and punish the rest of the RCB attack.
Even so Mumbai required 14 from the last over and had RCB had a front line bowler available they would have still had a strong chance of winning. Kohli however had used all of his bowling resources in search of a wicket and it fell to the part time bowling of Chris Gayle to bowl the last over. It was no surprise that Pollard and Rayudu were able to score the required runs with Rayudu finishing on 81 from 54 balls and Pollard 52 from 31 deliveries.
This loss was a devastating blow for the Royal Challengers and will bring back painful memories of a similar defeat Chennai inflicted upon them. The result also was a severe blow for RCB's chances of reaching the play-offs whilst virtually securing Mumbai a top four spot.