Anuj Rawat
Royal Challengers opener Anuj Rawat showed plenty of maturity to score his maiden half-century against Mumbai. Image Credit: Courteys: BCCI

Dubai: Young Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Anuj Rawat gave a big lesson to the illustrious Mumbai Indians batters by sticking almost till the end in his team’s seven-wicket win over the five-time champions at the Mumbai Cricket Association ground in Mumbai on Saturday.

Rawat mixed caution with aggression to score a scintillating 66 when even his skipper Faf du Plessis was finding it difficult to get the timing right on a wicket that’s not easy to start, but plays true once the batters get their eye in.

Former skipper Virat Kohli won the bragging rights against Rohit Sharma for whom nothing went right for Rohit Sharma, including the toss. The Mumbai is desperately searching for the elusive win in this season.

Young Dewald Brevis made amends for dropping Kohli early on by claiming the star batter’s wicket off the very first ball he bowled, but that was too late. Glenn Maxwell, who is playing his first match this season, finished it off with two fours off next two balls after Kohli departed for a well-made 48, which should give him plenty of confidence going forward.

For Mumbai, who have suffered their fourth successive loss match out of four games, the problem areas are the lack of form of Rohit and Jasprit Bumrah, who is not getting the wickets that he would normally and also leaking plenty of runs.

With third win in four games, Bangalore are hitting the right form and even played the mental game better, where they didn’t allow any space for Mumbai to come into the match after Suryakumar Yadav’s stunning counter-attack.

The veteran batter, who was playing his 200th Twenty20 game, stood tall among ruins to take Mumbai from 79/6 to 151, batting along with tailender Jayadev Unadkat and put on 72 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket. SKY remained unbeaten on 68 but the total was way below the par on a wicket that was good for strokeplay after being 50 no loss.

It was a day to remember for Bangalore, while Mumbai’s search continues.

Rawat has played his part to perfection

Rawat’s brilliant knock to comes a tame end after being run out off a direct hit while going for a quick two. But he has done his part to perfection. RCB required to halt Mumbai’s momentum in their chase and ensure that five-time champions don’t get early wickets to build up pressure. Rawat’s 66 takes RCB to 131/2 after 17 overs, needing 21 off 18 balls.

A costly lapse and Kohli will make you pay

Sometimes you need an element of luck to sail out of a bad patch. Looks like Kohli got one. Unfortunately, South African teen Brevis dropped a straight-forward catch, though it was travelling at a good pace, off Kohli and along with it floored any chance of Mumbai winning, tough remotely. The former Indian skipper is certainly one who will make you pay for your lapses. Bad luck Mumbai. After 15 overs, RCB are 111/1, needing just 41 runs off 30 balls.

Rawat completes maiden half-century

Rawat is a real good find for RCB. After losing the dependable Devdutt Padikkal, who served Bangalore well in the last few seasons, the inclusion of Rawat, another left-hander, has enabled Royal Challengers the opportunity to find another good talent. Rawat scored an impressive maiden half-century, in the company of Kohli, to keep his team in chase of target. After 13.1 overs, Bangalore are 93/1, still 59 runs away from victory off 41 balls.

Runs should come easy in second half

RCB are 61/1 after 10 overs, a stark contrast to 62/4 by Mumbai. If one goes by the first innings, plenty of runs should come in the second half, especially when the ball is slightly old and doesn’t offer much to the bowlers. Though the run rate has climbed closer to 9, it should still be easy for RCB, who after 11 overs, are 71/1.

Mumbai finally gets the breakthough, but Kohli is in

Rohit Sharma tried everything in his book to break the partnership, including bringing in the Kieron Pollard, but the result was the same until Unadkat induced RCB skipper to loft straight into the hands of Suryakumar at long on. It could be a blessing in disguise for RCB as Virat Kohli has come in and with plenty of time and overs, Kohli should be able to find his form in this game. After 9 overs, RCB are 53/1.

RCB openers are frustrating Mumbai bowlers

Thanks to the small target, Faf and Rawat are waiting for the bad deliveries and making the Mumbai bowlers pay for their errors while cutting down all risks. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was so desperate to break the partnership that he has used his main trumpcard, Jasprit Bumrah, for two overs inside the powerplay. After 7 overs, RCB are 45/0 with the required run rate slightly going above eight runs an over.

RCB playing the waiting game

Faf du Plessis’s timing is missing. But he is not a player who will give in easily and with extra responsibility as the skipper, the South African, who narrowly missed the Orange Cap last year to ex-CSK teammate Rituraj Gaekwad, is good at playing the waiting game. RCB are 27/0 after 5 overs, that included a maiden over and Murugan Ashwin’s first over costing just one run.

Mumbai bowlers desperately searching for wickets

Faf and Rawat are doing the right thing. Not give Mumbai wicket. Without any wicket, Mumbai’s chances are minimized and the lack of wickets will only make the bowlers to do something different in search for the elusive breakthrough and will err. Net result will be runs. After 4 overs, RCB are 26/0. Rawat needs to be a bit careful after surviving a faint chance.

RCB’s opening salvo

Young Anuj Rawat is showing a cool head and has given a perfect start to RCB chase. With the new ball doing something on the wicket that has a slight grass, the left-hander defended the good deliveries and attacked the gentle pace of Jayadev Unadkat. Faf is letting his younger partner the freedom and space to express himself. After two overs, RCB are 14/0.

Second successive half-century

Suryakumar Yadav brought all his experience to the fore to protect tailender Jaydev Unadkat and also keep the scoreboard ticking with an unbeaten 68 off 37 balls to take Mumbai Indians to 151/6 off 20 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

It could have been a way below par score on a pitch that is still good to bat, but at least the 72-run partnership for the seventh wicket, with SKY doing most of the damage, gave Mumbai bowlers a total to try and make a fight after being reduced to 79/6 with almost all the batters back in the pavilion.

Suryakumar’s knock, second consecutive half-century after returning to the side from injury in the previous game, came after a wonderful spell by Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga, who pulled the Mumbai Indians back after a brisk start of 50 for no loss after 6 overs.

Now with half the job done, it depends on skipper Faf du Plessis and the early batters to not concede the initiative though the momentum is with Mumbai at the moment. With Maxwell also returning to the squad, it’s going to be difficult for Mumbai to defend the total. More importantly, former RCB skipper Virat Kohli is yet to score a big knock and there's no better place than scoring against Rohit Sharma! Beware of Kohli. 

Superb half-century by Suryakumar

What a brilliant knock Suryakumar Yadav has produced. Standing tall among ruins and also keeping a healthy scoring rate, the Mumbai batter has scored a half-century worth the weight in gold. SKY’s 50 has come off 32 balls and was also involved in a 65-run partnership for the seventh wicket. A face-saving knock. This knock should give the Mumbai bowlers something to challenge and show their mettle. After 19 overs, Mumbai are 145/6 after 23 runs off Siraj.

Mumbai cross 100-run mark

Mumbai crossed the 100-run mark with SKY raining fours and sixes. The Mumbai batter moves to 36 with four fours and two sixes to single-handedly take the fight to the opposition. Sri Lankan leg-spinner’s impressive four-over spell also comes to an end. After 17 overs, Mumbai are 108/6.

SKY is the only hope for Mumbai

It’s all smiles and fun in the Bangalore camp. Rightly so. On the contrary, the Mumbai mood looks gloomy and with tailender Unadkat already in by the 14th over, it certainly not the best of situations. Still, SKY is keeping the Indians in the match with a six and a four to take his team closer to the 100-run mark. After 15 overs, Mumbai are 92/6.

Mumbai innings crumbling under pressure

Debutant Ramandeep becomes Harshal Patel’s latest victim. The medium-pacer took the pace off the ball and bowled an off spinner which was caught low by Dinesh Karthik. Only a rare error on the field by RCB, when Siraj misfielded on the fence, gives Suryakumar his second four off the last ball of the over. Last over too, the Mumbai batter did that to keep the scoreboard moving. But Mumbai innings is crumbling far too fast for comfort at 80/6 after 14 overs. Will they reach 100? Hopefully!

Hasaranga foxes Pollard to put RCB in command

A perfect googly by Hasaranga traps Pollard, who did not read the ball and played for the leg-spin and was caught plumb in front of the wicket. Whatever little hopes Mumbai had of giving themselves a big total evaporated with the West Indian striker going for no score. Now debutant Ramandeep will have to shore up Mumbai with the experienced SKY. After 11 overs, Mumbai are 64/5, scoring just 14 runs and losing four wickets after the fall of Rohit Sharma in the seventh over.

Double wicket pushes Mumbai in deep trouble

Sadly nothing is going right for Mumbai. At a time when the home fans are feeling a bit relaxed, the Paltans have lost Kishan, a big price purchase this season. Kishan’s needlees risk to play the Upper cut was well taken by Siraj at third man. What next? A suicidal run out by Glenn Maxwell ends the short stay of Tilak Varma for nought to leave Mumbai at 62/4 after 10 overs. Now all depends on big man Pollard.

Hasaranga proves his skill

The young Dewald Brevis might have felt disappointed after failing to make his mark, moving up the order. But he is still young and getting dismissed by a wily fox Hasaranga is still creditable for the South African teen. In comes Suryakumar Yadav, who is playing his 200th Twenty20 game. After 9 overs Mumbai are 69/2. Kishan and SKY need to carefully manoeuvre the middle overs.

Rohit Sharma falls at the wrong time for Mumbai

Harshal Patel has the knack of getting wickets at the right time and push his rivals on the backfoot. Just when the Mumbai Indians were looking threatening, the Bangalore pacer cut the pace down with his cutters and foxed Rohit Sharma to hit straight back for a caught and bowled. The Mumbai skipper seemed to have missed another wonderful opportunity to get some runs to boost his confidence. After 7 overs, Mumbai are 51/1.

Mumbai batters finding their touch

What a relief it must have been for the Mumbai fans. Rohit Sharma is continuing to find his touch and timing. Another 15-20 runs to his name will make him extremely dangerous on a wicket that is extremely good for batting, with the ball coming on to the bat nicely. After 4 overs, Indians are 29/0 with Rohit on 18.

Rohit Sharma is finding his magic touch

What a relief it must have been for the Mumbai fans. Rohit Sharma is continuing to find his touch and timing. Another 15-20 runs to his name will make him extremely dangerous on a wicket that is extremely good for batting, with the ball coming on to the bat nicely. After 4 overs, Indians are 29/0 with Rohit on 18.

Cautious start for Mumbai

A quiet start for Mumbai. What must be pleasing for the Blue camp is the straight drive of Rohit, who should find plenty of confidence from that shot. After two overs, Mumbai are 6/0.

RCB win toss and elect to bowl

Royal Challengers win toss and elect to bowl first. Jaydev Unadkat and 24-year-old Punjab middle order batter Ramandeep Singh to debut for Mumbai while Glenn Maxwell is ready to play his first match of the season for RCB.

Mumbai Indians in search of a win

Dubai: Winning comes naturally for Mumbai Indians. Their five Indian Premier League crowns were a testament to their total domination in the richest league in the numerous seasons. Since Season 14, which has now continued in Season 15, W is hard to come by and now they are searching to get to the victory column.

One of the prime reasons for the Paltans’ lacklustre show is the form of Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai skipper is known to lead the team from the front and has been one of the most-prolific run-getters in the history of the tournament and stands third with 5,665 runs in all-time scorers list. But he is not been at his best.

However, his bad luck with the bat has also rubbed off on as a captain, when Pat Cummins played a cracker of a knock, joint fastest 50 in IPL history off 14 balls, and didn’t have a clue of what’s happening when the contest was hanging in a balance.

It is still early days and Mumbai have the experience to come back into their winning groove, but they will be up against a Royal Challengers who pulled off a stunning win against Rajasthan Royals. The return of Glenn Maxwell must have boosted their hopes and Mumbai must be hoping that they don’t get the same treatment from another Australian at Pune.