Match 57(1st Semi Final) – Kieron Pollard’s all round show ensured that Bangalore Royal Challengers didn’t reach their 2nd consecutive IPL Final and instead MI sailed through the finals and hence qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 to be held in September. RCB were in control for most part of Mumbai’s innings only to see Pollard play yet another delightful cameo to lift the Mumbai Indians to an impressive 184-5. It was always going to be a tough chase and this being a semi final only made it harder. Bangalore’s batting powerhouse stumbled yet again and never threatened to get close to the target. Even a limping Kieron Pollard was good enough to take 3 wickets and was rightfully awarded the man of the match.
Bangalore Royal Challengers Innings
Chasing 185 nobody could ever imagine that RCB would go with Dravid and Kallis opening the innings but the first 2 overs cost 19 runs but Mallinga got Jacques Kallis whose udden slump with the bat continued as he could manage only 11, allowing Tendulkar to keep the coveted Orange Cap. KP and Dravid steadied the ship but couldn’t get the big hits which forced KP to come down the wicket and was stumped down the leg side by Ambati Rayudu off Harbhajan Singh. In came Uthappa who went the Pollard way and smashed 18 runs off Harbhajan’s over before he dragged a slower one from Pollard to be caught at deep square leg. The very next ball RCB lost Dravid,to a run-out resulting from a misunderstanding with Ross Taylor. 80/2 in 9 all of a sudden became 83/4 in 10 and Mumbai were in firm control of the match. The run rate just zoomed as Virat Kohli (9), Manish Pandey (5) and Praveen Kumar (1) departed in quick succession. 67 were required of the last 30 balls with only 4 wickets in hand which proved to be too much even for the hard hitting batsmen Ross Taylor who struck occasional blows but just couldn’t not accelerate as he was kept in check by the sharp Mumbai bowling. In the end only 22 runs were scored of the last 5 and Mumbai Indians won the match by 39 runs. PHOTOS
Mumbai Indians Innings
It was a big occasion for Mumbai Indians as this was the first time they had qualified for the Semi Finals in IPL and Sachin won the toss and as expected chose to bat first. The experts felt that Kumble would open the bowling but it was pace at both ends and it got rewards instantly as Steyn’s lovely outswinger got Sachin to drive but only managed to hit it straight to cover to be dismissed for a single-figure score this year! What a time to do it. Two overs later, a direct hit from Virat Kohli ended Shikhar Dhawan’s knock for 12. Mumbai Indians recovered thanks to Rayudu who counter-attacked initially before settling down, to reach 62 for 2 in 7 overs, but once the slow bowlers were introduced the runs were difficult to come by. Abhishek Nayar and Duminy got out trying to accelerate. It was again left to Tiwary- Rayudu combination to do it for Mumbai and they didn’t disappoint as they had a 48 ball 67 runs partnership to revive the innings which was going nowhere. Rayudu got out at a crucial time for well made 40 of 38 balls but that brought Kieron Pollard to the crease who once again took the game away by blasting 33 in 13 balls which boosted Mumbai to 184. PHOTOS
Player of the Match: Kieron Pollard