Royal Challengers Pacer Umesh Yadav turned the IPL clash against Kings XI Pinjab on its head with a dream over in which he ended up with three wickets.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave the visitors the perfect start at Bengaluru as they raced away to 32-0 within three overs.
Yadav himself had an expensive opening over where he went for nine runs. But what would happen in his next over might well be the pivotal moment of the match.
With the very first delivery, Yadav had Agarwal caught behind excellently by a diving Quinton de Kock to give Royal Challengers their breakthrough. Up next for the visitors was Australia’s Aaron Finch, a man who has been enjoying a purple patch with the bat for some time now.
Wow, I am trying to remember the last time I saw Umesh Yadav on fire like this. This is serious fast bowling.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 13, 2018
The Aussie was greeted with a first-ball dismissal in his very first match of IPL 2018 after Yadav wrapped him on the pads. Finch’s hopeful review of the decision would prove futile as the replays confirmed what was apparent to the naked guy.
With two in two, Yadav had Yuvraj Singh to contend with for the hat-trick ball but the veteran batsman was untroubled as he hit a crisp drive towards cover. After another dot-ball followed, the Indian pacer had Yuvraj in trouble with his fifth delivery. The Kings XI batsman’s attempted pull just sailed over the fielder at the boundary for a four.
W W . . 4 W
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) April 13, 2018
Yadav however, would have the last laugh as he sent in a ripper of a fuller-delivery that was too quick for Yuvraj’s defence as it shattered the middle-stump.
From 32-0, Yadav over had left Kings XI reeling at 36-3 by the time he was done as Royal Challengers came roaring back into the clash.
As they host Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, Mumbai can either draw confidence from the fact they came achingly close to victory on two occasions or worry that they couldn’t close out the match.
The Delhi Daredevils are themselves looking for their first win of the tournament.
The absence of Hardik Pandya has upset the balance of the Mumbai Indians team. He did not feature in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to an ankle injury he picked up in the first game and his replacement Ben Cutting didn’t score many runs and went for 40 from his four overs.
If Hardik remains injured, his brother Krunal will have to take more responsibility and possibly move up the order, pushing wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan down.
Seamers Jasprit Bumrah (2-32) and Mustafizur Rahman (3-24) were very good against Hyderabad, which means at least one base is covered for Mumbai.
The Daredevils look some way away from finding their rhythm. Opener Colin Munro has failed in two matches. He is one player who can hold the team together at the top and with the ball but that hasn’t happened.
PLAYERS IN FOCUS
Mumbai Indians have unearthed a gem in leg-spinner Mayank Markande. Seven wickets in his first two IPL games means it is impossible to look beyond his leg-spinners and googlies. The nerves must have settled by now and Markande should be in a position to dictate terms.
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell needs to do a lot better than an indifferent 12-ball 17 against Rajasthan. Maxwell has a big role to play with the bat and ball and given his experience, expect him to make his presence felt sooner rather than later.
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wk), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya*, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande
Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir(c), Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Rishabh Pant (wk), Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami
*Subject to fitness
The Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers were dealt a four-wicket loss in their campaign opener against the Kolkata Knight Riders while Kings XI made short work of the Delhi Daredevils in their opening match.
The two outfits are among the three existing franchises to have never won the IPL and will be aiming to get their name on the trophy this year.
BANGALORE’S HOME RECORD
Of the seven matches they played at home in 2017, the Royal Challengers managed to win just one. Their poor record at Benglaluru will be in focus as they play in front of their home fans this season.
The hosts will be banking on their star-laden top-order where the likes of Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers will be raring to go. It is in the middle-order and the bowling department where Kohli’s men look a little thin. Therefore, the pressure will be on the big boys to deliver.
KINGS XI LOOKING DANGEROUS
Having only retained one player in Axar Patel ahead of the 2018 auction, Kings XI have hit the reset button under the leadership of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
They started off brilliantly at home as KL Rahul’s fastest fifty in IPL put the Daredevils to the sword in Mohali. Ashwin and his men will be looking to carry that momentum into the Royal Challengers’ den where the pitch has aided the slower bowlers historically.
Captain @ashwinravi99 speaks on the feeling of a first win, the team’s performance in the first game and rising to the @RCBTweets challenge.#KXIP #KingsXIPunjab #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #VIVOIPL https://t.co/4cQuXEqjZ5
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 12, 2018
PLAYERS IN FOCUS
Former Royal Challengers crowd-favourite Chris Gayle will be in the opposing dugout come Friday. The swashbuckling Jamaican did not feature in Kings XI’s opening victory but he will be desperate to show his former employers what they missed out on by not retaining him for 2018.
Whether he gets the nod to feature in the playing XI remains to be seen but Bengaluru could be set for a ‘Gayle-storm’ if the left-hander is given the go ahead. The visitors will also be banking on Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s spin which was lethal in the win over Delhi.
Just 17, the Afghan spinner has it all when it comes to variations and could prove to be the find of the season.
For Bangalore, leg-spinner in Yuzvendra Chahal will be in focus after a listless performance in the defeat to Kolkata. He has an excellent record at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and will be the man to watch out for.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman …. 17 yrs old …. from Afghanistan …. 2-28 on his #IPL2018 debut ….. Fantastic to watch ….
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 8, 2018
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock (wk), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Sarfraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Axar Patel, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Mohit Sharma