Here, we look at the key talking points from Bangalore’s critical win.
CHAHAL ROCKS DELHI’S OPENERS
Prithvi Shaw has been handing the Daredevils some explosive starts ever since he was introduced into the playing XI. The India U19 World Cup winning captain however, was unable to carry on his good form on Saturday as Kohli turned to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal to open the bowling.
Chahal had gone wicket-less in the side’s last three games but he gave them the perfect start with the double scalps of Shaw and Jason Roy. Both the openers had their woodwork shattered by the India man after they failed to pick his googly.
IN-FORM PANT FIGHTS BACK WITH ANOTHER FIFTY
At 16-2, Royal Challengers had the hosts right where they wanted them to be. They however hadn’t accounted for Rishabh Pant. The youngster carried on from where left off against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he followed up his unbeaten century with an equally entertaining fifty.
The left-hander was once again extremely lethal with his on-side play as he smashed his way to a fifth fifty-plus score in this year’s IPL. The 20-year-old hit four huge sixes and five boundaries in a 34-ball knock which fetched 61 runs. His 93-run stand with skipper Shreyas Iyer for the third wicket got Delhi back into the game.
Rishabh Pant SR in 2018 IPL:— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) May 12, 2018
215.38 vs KXIP
188.00 vs MI
213.64 vs KKR
177.08 vs RCB
175.56 vs CSK
237.93 vs RR
203.17 vs SRH
179.41 vs RCB
( Minimum 20 Runs )
KOHLI AND DE VILLIERS MAKE IT LOOK EASY
For the second match in a row, the Daredevils saw the opposition surmount a huge total with ease while chasing. If it was Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson for the Sunrisers last time, it was Kohli and De Villiers who made chasing look effortlessly easy on Saturday.
After both Bangalore openers fell early, the two star batsmen took charge for the visitors in style. Kohli showed no after effect of any illness on his return to his hometown as he smashed his way to a 34th IPL fifty before being dismissed by Amit Mishra.
At the other end, De Villiers remained unbeaten on 72 as he finished the job for the visitors with a six with an entire over to spare.
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first as Daredevils handed debuts to Sandeep Lamichhane and Junior Dala. Rishabh Pant fired once again for the hosts with a 34-ball 61 while young Abhishek Sharma changed the complexion of the game with a late cameo.
The left-hander struck four sixes and three boundaries to remain unbeaten on 46 runs from just 19 deliveries as Daredevils posted 181-4 in their 20 overs.
In reply, half-centuries from Kohli and AB de Villiers paved the way for a comfortable win for the Royal Challengers in the end. The South African remained unbeaten on 72 as the visitors won by five wickets with an over to spare.
The second of IPL’s double-header on Sunday promises to be a blockbuster at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Two Mumbai-born men in Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane will be leading their respective sides as Mumbai Indians take on Rajasthan Royals in what could be a campaign defining clash for both the teams.
With the race for the playoff spots getting more complex, the stakes will be as high as ever at the Wankhede for both sides who are experiencing a late resurgence.
Both sides have 10 points after 11 games each though Mumbai do enjoy the luxury of having a better net run-rate than Rajasthan. While a win for either side would put them in a strong position to make the playoffs, a loss could very well derail the campaign.
SHADES OF 2015 IN MUMBAI’S CAMPAIGN
In 2015, Mumbai Indians started their campaign with four straight losses before turning it around brilliantly to capture the title. They had their backs to the wall for much of the campaign but kept out churning win after win in the latter stages to complete a fairytale charge to the trophy.
They are experiencing something similar this year after having started with four losses in their first five games. Can they repeat their 2015 heroics? On current form, it is hard to argue otherwise.
ROYALS’ AWAY WOES
Though they have done relatively well at home in ‘Fortress Jaipur’ with three wins out of six, Rahane’s men have been abysmal on the road. They started their away campaign with a fine victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium but since then it has gone horribly wrong.
The side has slumped to four straight defeats away from home to Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. Of the five times the Royals have played away to Mumbai, they have ended up on the losing side on four occasions. They will need to change that trend if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), JP Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah.
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler (wk), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Prashant Chopra, K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi