Hardik’s effort goes in vain, MI lose by 14 runs

Hardik Pandya turned in a fine all-round performance but his efforts went in vain as Mumbai Indians went down to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 14 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. Hardik picked up 3/28 and hit a 42-ball 50 but it wasn’t enough as we crashed to our sixth defeat in eight matches this season. We are in seventh position with four points. RCB are up in fifth place. The loss was our first to RCB in six matches. It was also our first defeat in Bengaluru since 2013.

Chasing 168 on a pitch that was slow to begin with and offered generous turn in the second innings, MI were reduced to 21/3 inside four overs. Save for a 56-run stand between Hardik and his brother, Krunal Pandya, MI had nothing much else to show in the batting department. It came down to 35 off the last three overs but Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj conceded just five each of the 18th and 19th overs respectively. With 25 required in the final over, Southee gave away just 10, including a six off the last ball, but it was all too late. RCB conceded 23 extras, including 18 wides.

Southee had Ishan Kishan bowled for his third duck in four innings. The Kiwi pacer bowled one full on off-stump and managed to swing it into the left-hander’s pads. Kishan committed himself to play a front-foot drive but left an awful lot of gap between the bat and pad. The ball ended up crashing into the middle stump.

Umesh Yadav did a repeat of his first-leg performance by getting wickets off consecutive deliveries. He removed Suryakumar Yadav leg-before for nine, before Suryakumar’s unsuccessful attempt at a review. Yadav then scythed skipper Sharma with a ball that nipped in a great deal and kissed the shoulder of the bat before making its way to the left of the wicketkeeper. Quinton de Kock pulled off a dive and took it one-handed. The third umpire was approached this time too. Sharma was out for a golden duck.

Pollard was hit right below the throat but he dealt with the hat-trick ball nevertheless. He and JP Duminy, promoted to No. 3, struggled to handle the turn generated by Yuzvendra Chahal. Pollard fell for 13 when he edged a late cut off Mohammad Siraj. Duminy batted well for 23 but fell at an inopportune time with 84 to get off eight overs. He was run out when he challenged Yadav’s arm in pursuit of a second.

Earlier, the pendulum swung back and forth as RCB started well before Hardik rocked their boat with a three-wicket burst to leave them six down for 141 after 18 overs. Jasprit Bumrah rounded off his evening with a throttling 19th over by conceding just two runs. Colin de Grandhomme finished the innings with a mighty flourish by smashing Mitchell McClenaghan for 24 runs in the final over. McClenaghan, who dismissed Quinton de Kock early and went for just 10 off his first three overs, took a beating from his countryman. Only three runs came off the first three balls but de Grandhomme deposited the fourth — an off-cutter — into the stands over mid-wicket. He took a couple of the next before smashing the last ball — a waist-high full-toss — over square-leg. He wasn’t done. McClenaghan bowled another slower delivery and de Grandhomme picked it early and sent it over long-off to leave the crowd delirious.

Make no mistake, the pitch was tough to bat on right from the beginning. It aided turn, as was evidenced by the turn and bounce Duminy extracted in the opening over. McClenaghan and Bumrah also kept it tight as RCB took just 11 off the first three overs. Manan Vohra, who top-scored with 45 off 31, took Duminy apart in the fourth over by carting the off-spinner for 22 runs with the help of two sixes and as many fours.

Sharma took a fantastic catch diving forward to send de Kock back in the next over. The skipper asked the umpires to go upstairs because he wasn’t sure if it was clean. But the replays showed Sharma had done well. A few minutes later, it was time for the Decision Review System to come into play when Vohra challenged the on-field umpire’s decision to adjudge him leg-before off the bowling of Mayank Markande. The ball was shown to be clipping leg-stump and Vohra made way for Virat Kohli.

The 10th over started with Duminy narrowly missing the stumps from point. McCullum made the most of that life by charging down the track and smashing the next — a chest-high full-toss — for six. The free hit shot was just amazing. McCullum went across the stumps and scooped the ball right over the wicketkeeper’s head. In other words, Hardik conceded 13 off one legal delivery. He gave away seven more in the over as RCB reached 82/2 at the halfway stage.

McCullum and Kohli went on to add 60 for the third wicket as RCB geared up for a big finish. In the 14th over, something bizarre happened. Kohli edged Bumrah off a wonderful delivery bowled from wide of the crease. But nobody appealed. Snikco showed otherwise and Kohli had a nice laugh about it at the end of the over. Bumrah said in the innings break that neither he nor his teammates heard anything because of the noise in the stadium. Hardik got rid of McCullum with a rocket throw from the edge of the circle at mid-off. He made 37 off 25.

New man Mandeep Singh hit Hardik for a four — RCB’s first in 21 deliveries — and followed it up with a six in Bumrah’s next. Hardik then returned to turn things around in our favour. He had Singh hole out in the deep off the first ball of the 18th over. He struck gold by dismissing Kohli, who committed hara-kiri by hitting the next ball straight down the throat of Kieron Pollard at long-on. Washington Sundar survived the hat-trick ball but perished on the last delivery by getting caught at deep mid-wicket.
If not for de Grandhomme’s last-over blast, we would have had to chase a lot fewer. So prolific was the New Zealander that he hit 23 off just 10. Five of RCB’s last six boundaries were maximums, with de Grandhomme hitting three biggies.

Our team will travel to Indore now. We meet Kings XI Punjab on Friday, May 4.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 167/7 in 20 overs (Manan Vohra 45, Brendon McCullum 37, Virat Kohli 32, Colin de Grandhomme 23*; Mitchell McClenaghan 1/34, Jasprit Bumrah 1/22, Mayank Markande 1/28, Hardik Pandya 3/28) beat Mumbai Indians 153/7 in 20 overs (JP Duminy 23, Hardik Pandya 50, Krunal Pandya 23; Tim Southee 2/25, Umesh Yadav 2/29, Mohammed Siraj 2/28) by 14 runs.