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MI beat RCB by 18 runs to register first win in IPL


Bengaluru:  Mumbai Indians produced a clinical performance to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 18 runs in a high-scoring affair and register their maiden win in this year’s Indian Premier League here today.

Sent into bat, Lendl Simmons and Unmukt Chand first smashed strokeful half-centuries to power Mumbai Indians to an imposing 209 for seven and then veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (3/27) weaved his magic to restrict RCB to 191 for seven.

Chasing an imposing 210 for a victory, RCB did not have the best of starts and kept losing wickets a regular intervals to hamper their cause.

In fact, RCB’s chase heavily relied on an explosive start from Chris Gayle but it was not to be as in spite of getting two lives the West Indian cut a sorry figure scoring just 10 runs off 20 balls.

Gayle got his first life in the second ball of RCB’s innings when he was dropped by Simmons off Mitchell McClenaghan and then in the eighth over he was dropped again by Lasith Malinga.

But the dropped chances did not have an adverse affect on Mumbai Indians as an off-colour Gayle perished in the ninth over when Harbhajan went through his defence.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli (18 0ff 18) showed glimpses of his potential but he too perished in search of quick runs, caught by Ambati Rayudu off McClenaghan in the 11th over.

Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik also promised but he too faded away under the pressure of a stiff asking rate. He was caught by Unmukt off Lasith Malinga’s bowling.

From there on it looked like a Herculean task for RCB to overwhelm the Mumbai target but it was not improbable as long as AB de Villiers was there.

De Villiers took the attack to the opposition and raced his way to 41 off just 11 balls before the pressure of asking rate took a tall on him.

De Villiers smashed five fours and three huge sixes during his knock to keep RCB afloat before he was caught by Kieron Pollard off young Jasprit Bumrah.

David Wiese (47 not out off 25 balls), who picked up four wickets for 33 runs on debut, and Iqbal Abdullah (20 off 15) tried their best towards the end but it proved to be a too tall task to achieve.

Earlier, opening the batting Simmons made 59 off 44 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes, while Unmukt smashed his way to 58 off just 37 balls which included eight fours and two hits over the fence to set the stage for Mumbai’s score.

Skipper Rohit Sharma also played a 15-ball 42-run cameo to help Mumbai’s cause. He clobbered the RCB bowlers to all parts of the ground and in the process hit three fours and four huge sixes.

Towards the end, young Hardik Pandya used his long handle to great effect to pile up unbeaten 16 runs off just six deliveries for Mumbai.

For RCB, debutant David Wiese was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 44 for 33 from his four overs, while young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets giving away 28 runs.

Rohit went hammer and tongs towards the end as Mumbai scored 77 runs in the last five overs of the innings before he was caught by Weise off his own bowling.

Sent into bat, Pathiv Patel and Simmons gave a solid start to Mumbai’s innings putting on 47 runs for the opening wicket in 35 balls.

While Simmons looked at ease at the wicket, Parthiv looked a bit rusty.

The diminutive wicket-keeper batsman struck two sweetly timed boundaries during his short stay at the crease before he played on a David Wiese delivery on to the stumps in the sixth over.

Simmons cut lose in the second over when he smashed Varun Aaron for three consecutive boundaries.

The West Indian then turned on the hit on Abu Nechim Ahmed, hitting the bowler for two delightful boundaries in the next over.

After the loss of Patel, Simmons went into a shell but opened up in the ninth over onwards. He first clobbered left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah for a massive six and then repeated the shot against Aaron.

Simmons registered his fourth IPL fifty off just 36 balls. But soon after he top edged a Chahal delivery which was well taken by Aaron.

Unmukt, however, kept up the tempo. Soon after arriving at the crease he hammered Abdullah for two consecutive boundaries.

Chand notched up his first half century of thie year’s IPL with a boundary of Wiese, but soon lost his cool and top-edged a Chahal delivery to RCB captain Virat Kohli at long-off.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai Indians: 209 for seven in 20 overs

(Lendl Simmons 59, Unmukt Chand 58, Rohit Sharma 42; David Wiese 4/33).
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 191 for seven in 20 overs

(David Wiese 47 not out, AB de Villers 41; Harbhajan Singh 3/27).

Player of the match – Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians)

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