The challengers didn’t put a foot wrong in the double header on Saturday as they beat Mumbai Indians comprehensively by 7 wickets. Mumbai were on a roll having performed exceptionally well in their first 2 matches but all that didn’t matter today as it was RCB all the way. They notched up their 3rd straight win to zoom to the top of the points table. It took a disciplined bowling performance from the Bangalore boys to restrict the strong Mumbai batting order to a modest 151. Once that was done Kallis (66) took care of the rest as he continued his unbeaten streak in this season. It looks like he is going to have that orange cap around his head for some more matches as he has amassed 264 undefeated runs in his season.
After having performed exceptionally well with the ball it was the job of the batsmen to show their class. The first 4 overs yielded only 28 runs as Zaheer and Malinga bowled to a tight line. But you can’t keep Kallis down for too long especially with the kind of form he is in. He smashed 3 4’s of the first 3 deliveries from Pollard. Pandey was not to be left behind as he too played some audacious shots as Challengers reached 77 at the end of 9 overs. This was 3rd instance that the pair had crossed 50 out of 4 innings. Pandey’s innings came to an end when Harbhajan had him caught by pollard at midwicket. In came Uthappa who played a cameo 23(15) and departed. The good opening partnership had made the required rate come down from an original 7.5 to run a ball. It was all too easy as Virat Kohli smashed Harbhajan Singh for back to back 6’s. While all this was happening Kallis reached to his 4th 50 in as many matches. Virat was brilliantly runout by Pollard in the 17th over but the damage was already done. Bangalore reached the target with 5 balls to spare. PHOTOS
Mumbai Indians Innings
Tendulkar won the toss and decided to put runs on the board. Steyn struck in his first over when he had Jayasurya plumb in front. Bangalore’s strategy to bowl short worked when Kallis got Tare caught by Pandey at midwicket. Tendulkar was batting in a sphere of his own playing the flick shots at will and at one point of time he smashed Steyn for 3 consecutive boundaries. The master Blaster along with Saurabh Tiwary steadied the ship before Anil Kumble struck in his first over. The google from the old war horse bowled him. Great bit of bowling and it’s quite amazing to see that Kumble has not lost a single trick, despite being out of cricket for quite a while now. Mumbai Indians reached to 74/3 at the end of 10 overs. With Sachin still there Mumabi Indians would have been hoping to get to 170-180 but Vinay Kumar had other plans. The 11th over turned out to be the turning point in the match. R Vinay Kumar removed Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu in one over which made the crowd go silent. The 6 feet 6 inches West Indians Pollard could only manage 21 from 19 before Steyn got lucky when Pollard mistimed a full toss to give an easy catch to Kohli. Satish played a helping hand making 24 of 22 before he too got out to Steyn that very over. What was looking like a 130-140 score ended up as 150 thanks to Zaheer’s cameo 23(9) as 16 came of the final over from Praveen kumar. PHOTOS
Player of the Match: Jacques Kallis