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MI vs RCB: Malinga, Hardik push RCB closer to exit door | Cricket News


MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma had little hesitation in putting Royal Challengers Bangalore in to bat after winning the toss at the Wankhede Stadium in their IPL encounter on Monday evening.

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But, that was the easier part as he was well aware of the threat that awaited his team in the form of rival skipper Virat Kohli and South African great AB de Villiers.

The hosts did well to get Kohli out for 8 but de Villiers stuck around, overcoming a patchy start, to contribute a magnificent 74 off 51 balls as RCB finished on 171-7 in 20 overs. English all-rounder Moeen Ali emerged the dark horse in the encounter, first hitting a 32-ball 50 and then taking 2-18 in four overs. He got rid of openers Rohit and Quinton de Kock.

Incidentally, this was the second lowest 1st innings score at this venue this season (MI hit 170-5 against Chennai Super Kings a couple of weeks ago). Rohit’s men hunted down the target in 19 overs with five wickets to spare and Hardik Pandya staying unbeaten on 37 in 16 balls.

Rohit and de Kock gave MI a flying start carting around the RCB bowlers with ease and put on 70 before the former was bowled by Ali. The ball turned sharply from outside off-stump and Rohit failed in his attempt to cut. De Kock, too, followed three balls later, trapped in front of the stumps for 40 and at 71-2 in 7.4 overs, RCB were back in the contest.

Ishan Kishan, who came in at No. 4 struck a 9-ball 21 but perished to spinner Yuzvendra Chahal with his team’s score on 104 in 10.3 overs. Suryakumar Yadav and Krunal Pandya joined forces thereafter and stabilized things again for MI before the former fell for 29.

The hosts needed 43 off 27 balls at this stage, with Hardik Pandya walking into the crease. The brothers put on 19 runs before Krunal got out to Mohammad Siraj for 11.

MI needed 22 off the last two overs and Hardik Pandya smashed these runs in the 19th over itself.

Earlier, de Villiers’ knock contained six boundaries and four hits over the fence. Ali struck top form as well and matched his partner stroke for stroke before falling to Lasith Malinga on the first ball of the 18th over. He struck five sixes and a boundary. De Villiers and Ali put on 95 runs for the third wicket in only 61balls. Malinga got rid of Marcus Stoinis on the fifth ball of the same over for a duck.

Kohli, meanwhile, was out on the first ball of the third over bowled by Jason Behrendorff. The lanky Aussie paceman sung the ball in and Kohli, who went for an expansive drive could only manage to edge it to wicketkeeper de Kock.

Behrendorff’s excitement, though, was short-lived as he was taken for 19 runs in his third over by the other opener Parthiv Patel. The former MI player struck him for three boundaries and a six and just when he looked like having got his eye in for a major contribution, Hardik Pandya got rid of him. It was a rather soft dismissal as the left-hander cut the ball straight into Suryakumar Yadav’s hand at point.

Malinga emerged the most successful of the Mumbai bowlers, returning with figures of 4-0-31-4. Two of his wickets came in the last over of the innings. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah may not have picked up a wicket, but he was a difficult customer to deal with, giving away only 22 runs in his four overs, the first of which was a maiden.

Joseph to miss rest of IPL

Alzarri Joseph, the West Indies pace bowler, who suffered a shoulder injury in Mumbai Indians’ previous game against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. According to sources, MI are likely to seek a replacement for the 22-year-old. Joseph made a stunning debut on April 6 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, taking 6-12, but was smashed around for 53 runs in three overs by the Royals’ top order on Saturday. Co-incidentally, Joseph was drafted into the squad as a replacement for the injured Adam Milne.



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