IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians and Hardik Pandya overcome spin threat to consign RCB to seventh defeat

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A match-winning cameo from Pandya. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Mumbai Indians got their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign back on track with a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium.

Chasing 172 runs for victory, Mumbai survived a few nervy moments before coasting home with six balls to spare. Having seen their winning streak brought to a halt by Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai bounced back to third spot in the league table with their fifth victory in eight games. All-rounder Hardik Pandya steered Mumbai home with a 16-ball 37 that included five fours and two sixes.

For Virat Kohli and his men, it was the seventh defeat in eight matches with the side remaining rooted to the bottom spot in the standings.

ABD, MOEEN LEAD RCB’s CHARGE

Having been made to bat first by Rohit Sharma, RCB struggled in the early half of their innings with skipper Virat Kohli failing to last long. Parthiv Patel played a brief entertaining cameo but Bangalore were tottering at 70-2 at the half-way mark.

Thankfully for the visitors, AB de Villiers came good after a scratchy start with the South African slamming his fourth fifty of the campaign and the second in succession. He found excellent support in Moeen Ali who brought up only his second IPL half-century.

The pair added 95 runs for the third wicket to put the visitors in an excellent position before the death overs approached.

A fine stand between ABD and Moeen. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

A fine stand between ABD and Moeen. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

MALINGA LEADS MUMBAI RESPONSE

While Australian pacer Jason Behrendorrf had an expensive outing, Mumbai hit back in the death overs with Lasith Malinga coming to the fore. The veteran pacer was making only his fourth appearance of IPL 2019 and wasted no time in reminding batsmen of his prowess with a four-wicket haul.

Bangalore were batting at 144-3 at the start of the 17th over bowled by Malinga with both Moeen and ABD going great guns. The Sri Lanka man outfoxed Moeen with a slower delivery with the wicket taking the sting out of RCB’s attack before dismissing Marcus Stoinis for a duck in the same over.

Malinga bagged another couple of wickets in the final over with his slower delivery proving hard to read. His excellence at the death, along with Jasprit Bumrah’s, saw Mumbai restrict the visitors to an under par score and that proved to be the difference.

An excellent comeback from Malinga. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

An excellent comeback from Malinga. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

MUMBAI AND PANDYA OVERCOME SPIN THREAT

The hosts got off to a flyer in their chase of 172 with openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma adding 69 runs inside the powerplay overs. From there on, it looked like Mumbai would canter towards a comfortable win but the introduction of spin changed the complexion of the game.

With the ball gripping and turning prodigiously, RCB’s spinners came to the fore in the middle overs. Moeen Ali backed up his batting efforts with the wickets of both Mumbai openers in his first over before Yuzvendra Chahal removed Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan in quick succession.

The two spinners conceded only 45 runs between them in eight overs and shared four wickets to set up a tense finish. However, spin proved to be RCB’s undoing in the end with Hardik Pandya smashing 22 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Pawan Negi to take Mumbai home with an over to spare.

BRIEF SCORES

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 171-7

AB de Villiers: 75 (51)

Moeen Ali: 50 (32)

Lasith Malinga: 4-31

Mumbai Indians: 172-5

Quinton de Kock: 40 (26)

Hardik Pandya: 37 not out (16)

Moeen Ali: 2-18

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