IPL: Mumbai Indians steal close win over RCB

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AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli joined the Indian Premier League party on Thursday, but it was not enough to steer Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory over Mumbai Indians.

After failing in the opening loss to Chennai Super Kings, both men found their form in Bangalore as RCB looked set to claim their first win.

However, the hosts fell agonisingly short as Jasprit Bumrah (3-20) and Lasith Malinga (0-47) bowled superbly at the death to earn Mumbai a six-run triumph.

Mumbai set a challenging target after being put in, captain Rohit Sharma leading the way with some trademark hitting, the opener falling two short of a half-century.

Hardik Pandya, Yuvraj Singh and Quinton de Kock all followed their captain’s lead as Mumbai reached 187-8 from their 20 overs, only the control of Yuzvendra Chahal (4-38) keeping them in check.

Chahal’s work with the ball seemed to have been enough as Kohli – who reached 5000 IPL runs as he made 46 – and De Villiers led the run chase, the pair sharing 49 for the third wicket.

De Villiers was given a life by Yuvraj early on and he quickly took advantage, upping the pace following Kohli’s departure to finish unbeaten on 70, however it left RCB just short.

Bumrah bowled a penultimate over that only went for five to leave RCB needing 17 to win, and Malinga – playing his first IPL match since May 2017 – ensured they would not reach it as the hosts finished 181-5.

AB De Villiers of Royal Challenger Banglore hits a six during match 7 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians held at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on the 28th March 2019 (Photo by: Prashant Bhoot /SPORTZPICS for BCCI)

BANGALORE’S BRILLIANCE ON THE BOUNDARY

Mumbai’s big-hitters delivered some devastating blows to the RCB bowlers, but in the end they were all snared on the boundary by some superb fielding.

Rohit and Yuvraj cleared the ropes four times between them but ultimately they perished before being able to inflict serious damage as Mohammed Siraj took two fine catches.

The dangerous Kieron Pollard went before clicking into gear as West Indies compatriot Shimron Hetmyer clung on at deep extra cover.

Hardik could not be stopped, though, with three huge maximums, including one that flew out of the ground.

YUVRAJ’S RELIEF

Mumbai’s win could have been less stressful had Yuvraj sent De Villiers packing on his first ball.

Buoyed from removing Parthiv Patel, Mayank Markande pushed through his next delivery and it brought an edge from De Villiers, but Yuvraj spilled the chance at first slip. Luckily for the veteran it did not prove costly as Mumbai earned their first win. (Sportsmax)

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