The wild orgasmic gestures from Harbhajan Singh suggested the world had been conquered. No, a tournament amongst 10 domestic T20 sides had been won.
Mumbai Indians finally landed a winner’s cheque here at MAC Stadium on Sunday. Chasing a manageable target of 140, Royal Challengers Bangalore hit the panic button way too early to be bowled out for 108.
The start for RCB was a flier as usual. Tillakaratne Dilshan was pompous with his flicks and drives.
Chris Gayle barring a silken cover drive was a mute spectator as Dilshan took full toll of an erring Lasith Malinga and Abu Nechim. Malinga pressed for his third over uprooted Dilshan’s off-stump. Harbhajan trapped Gayle with a straighter one and the task suddenly looked uphill.
Virat Kohli took the burden of guiding the side, but his failure to connect a slog-sweep off Harbhajan pushed RCB further back. Tweaking with the batting order did not help the IPL finalists either.
KB Arun Karthik and Mohammad Kaif succumbed under mounting pressure. Malinga, Harbhajan and Yuzvendra Chahal picked wickets at regular intervals to stifle the runs and the sprightly fielding did the rest.
Earlier Mumbai did not take well to the big stage either. A start-stop effort took them to 139 and one that proved adequate in the end. Full credit to RCB for not allowing Mumbai to run away with a big total on a wicket that played considerably better.
Ambati Rayudu and James Franklin resurrected the innings after Aiden Blizzard and Sarul Kanwar left early. For a major portion of the partnership the duo paid good attention to smaller details. Rayudu’s error against the innocuous trundlers of Raju Bhatkal brought RCB back at a point when Mumbai was looking to gain control.
Suryakumar Yadav stepped the scoring from the moment he took crease. A chance run out in favour of Vettori changed the complexion of the game. In the next over Franklin was found short of his crease and the two quick wickets and an error in judgement by umpire Kumar Dharmasena in adjudging Harbhajan Singh lbw, dimmed the prospects of a competitive total from Mumbai.
A further rush of wickets towards the end saw MI letting slip from a decent position to be bowled out for 139.(DC)
Mumbai Indians: A. Blizzard (run out) 3, S. Kanwar b Nannes 13, A. Rayudu c Gayle b Bhatkal 22, J. Franklin (run out) 41, S. Yadav (run out) 24, K. Pollard c Kohli b Vettori 2, R. Sathish c Agarwal b Bhatkal 9, Harbhajan lbw b Vettori 0, S. Malinga c Aravind b Bhatkal 16, A. Ahmed (not out) 2, Y. Chahal c Gayle b Aravind 2. Extras (lb1, w4) 5. Total (all out in 20 overs) 139.
FoW: 1-10, 2-24, 3-65, 4-105, 5-108, 6-109, 7-109, 8-135, 9-135.
Bowling: Dilshan 4-0-34-0; Nannes 4-0-14-1; Aravind 4-0-33-1; Vettori 4-0-30-2; Bhatkal 3-0-21-3; Gayle 1-0-6-0.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: T. Dilshan b Malinga 27, C. Gayle lbw b Harbhajan 5, V. Kohli c Blizzard b Harbhajan 11, M. Agarwal c Pollard b Chahal 14, S. Tiwary c Harbhajan b Ahmed 17, KB Arun Karthik c Pollard b Chahal 0, M. Kaif c Kanwar b Pollard 3, D. Vettori st Rayudu b Harbhajan 1, R. Bhatkal c Sathish b Ahmed 6, S. Aravind b Malinga 4, D. Nannes (not out) 0. Extras (b4, lb1, w14, nb1) 20. Total (all out in 19.2 overs) 108.
FoW: 1-38, 2-42, 3-67, 4-73, 5-74, 6-81, 7-92, 8-98, 9-108.
Bowling: Malinga 4-0-23-2; Ahmed 3.2-0-26-2; Harbhajan 4-0-20-3; Pollard 4-0-21-1; Chahal 3-0-9-2; Franklin 1-0-4-0.
Man of the match: Harbhajan Singh
Man of the series: Lasith Malinga