It was the versatility of Mumbai’s attack which put the foundation of the win against Bangalore.
Even if the match was decided in the 20th over of Mumbai’s batting innings, there was hardly any tension on MI batters as Suryakumar Yadav, who was once again given a snub by national selectors the other day, calmly anchored the chase of 165.
Surya ignited the night in Abu Dhabi
Even though the Mumbai openers Quinton de Kock (18) and Ishan Kishan (25) faced 19 balls each. But, that was enough to support Yadav who was unbeaten on 79 (off just 43 balls) with 10 fours and 3 sixes.
“Pleased to have finished the game. The team management and Rohit(Sharma) told me before the start of the tournament that you have played enough to take the game deep. I am glad I have been able to do it,” said Yadav after being adjudged the Man of the Match.
The five-wicket win has now taken Mumbai to 16 points and the top positions on the points table and expectedly they have become the first team to reach the play-offs. Stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard was overwhelmed by Yadav’s fantastic counter attack .
“We lost a few wickets but Surya took us home. Imagine, someone coming in at that number and batting at that strike rate despite a wicket going down. The most he can do is continue performing for us. As an individual if you continue to be consistent, the rewards will come,” said the Trinidadian after the match in a chat with the host broadcaster.
Versatility of Mumbai’s attack
It was the versatility of Mumbai’s attack which put the foundation of the win by restricting a batting line up like RCB for just 164 despite the fact that at one stage they were one for 95 in the 11th over and all set for a huge total.
“It was a strange phase of batting (the last five overs of the batting). Everything went to the fielders and these kinds of things happen. They bowled in good areas in the last 5 overs and stopped us 20 runs short,” admitted RCB captain Virat Kohli after the match.
If Krunal Pandya bowled four tight overs (just 27 runs) then Pollard took the big wicket of AB de Villiers when he was about to go berserk in the death overs. However, it was Jasprit Bumrah’s four overs which turned out to be the super bowling performance. Bumrah got rid of Virat Kohli in his first spell and then Shivam Dube (2) and Devdutt Padikkal (74 off 45) in the 17th over of the RCB innings. Critically, it denied RCB the momentum to post an imposing total.
“We did well with the ball, got them down to an achievable score and then it was nicely followed up, obviously set-up by Surya. It was nice to get rid of AB and Virat, they were the big wickets that needed to be taken, that helped us in the end, made us feel less daunting. It was still a pretty good score, but I think we kept them down well,” explained Mumbai’s senior pacer Trent Boult after the match.
(Vimal Kumar is a senior sports journalist who has covered multiple cricket world cups and Rio Olympics in the last two decades. Vimal is also the author of Sachin: Cricketer Of The Century and The Cricket Fanatic’s Essential Guide.)Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2020 here