Rayudu blitz floors Bangalore

Rayudu blitz floors Bangalore

Pollard plays handy role as Mumbai Indians notch up five-wicket victory

Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard produced one-of-a-kind show to spur Mumbai Indians to an improbable five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Monday.

Bengaluru: Mumbai Indians K Pollard plays a shot against Royal Challengers Bangalore during IPL 5 match in Bengaluru on Monday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak(Put into bat, RCB, managed to reach a competitive 171 for six, thanks to a late surge by local lad Mayank Agarwal (64 n.o., 30b, 4x6, 6x4) and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s patient innings (47, 50b, 4x4, 1x6). Mumbai, who were tottering at 51 for five at one stage, scaled down the target in the last over of the match with five wickets to spare.

With this win Mumbai are on second with 18 points from 14 matches, while RCB are fifth with 15 points from 14 games. The Bangalore outfit have left with two away matches against Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers.

The victory was inspired by an unbeaten 122-run stand between man of the match Rayudu (81 n.o., 54b, 6x4, 4x6) and West Indian Pollard (52 n.o., 31b, 5x4, 3x6). The sixth-wicket collaboration came into existence in the eighth over with the Indians needing 120 runs off 72 balls to win.

There on, they sent RCB’s wayward bowlers, barring Muttiah Muralitharan and Harshal Patel, on a leather hunt and finished the game in style. Few words were exchanged between Harshal and Rayudu after the game, and the two players might come under the scanner from the match officials.

Persistent rain

Earlier, persistent rain delayed start by fifty minutes, but once the covers were off and it was time for action, skipper Harbhajan Singh’s decision to field first paid off as the Challengers got off to a woeful start. West Indian marauder Chris Gayle took strike and his recent form suggested another brutal cameo, but it wasn’t the case on the day. The Jamaican saw off five balls in a sedate manner, but switched to his usual aggressive self with a giant six straight over Munaf Patel’s head off the last ball of the first over.

But the Mumbai bowler had the last laugh. That massive six might have given the RCB fans hopes of a Gayle masterclass just like he did when the teams locked horns in Mumbai. But his attempt to make room and carve Munaf over covers ended up in him dragging the delivery on to his stumps. Soon stand-in skipper Virat Kohli was run out as Herschelle Gibbs, at backward point, came up with a brilliant save and throw down to the bowlers end to catch the Delhiite short of crease.

With RCB wobbling at 87 for four, Dilshan was joined by Agarwal and the duo added 46 runs in quick time, before the Sri Lankan fell with a couple of crucial overs remaining. Agarwal took his time to settle down, but he was ruthless thereafter.

The Bangalorean’s best, however, came with nine balls remaining in RCB’s innings and the score on 147.

After stroking a fluent four and six off Malinga’s fourth and fifth deliveries in his final over, Agarwal took a single to retain the strike. As Zaheer looked on from the other end, Agarwal dismantled Munaf, striking two well-timed sixes and a couple of crafty fours to score 22 runs off the final over to carry RCB to a position of strength. Or they thought so!























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