Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pollard and Krunal Pandya snatches victory from RCB's grasp

12th Match: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians at Bengaluru, April 14 - 2017,

Even though Mumbai Indians won the game, I would say that cricket was the outright winner in this match between the RCB and MI. This match certainly proved why cricket is known as a sport of glorious uncertainties.

Defending a smallish total of 142, the Royal Challengers Bangalore were off to the best possible start with Samuel Badree picking up a hat-trick in the third over and running through the opposition’s top-order. It was a brilliant spell of bowling from the Caribbean leg-spinner, who was playing his debut match for the Challengers. Courtesy of his triple-strike, Mumbai Indians found themselves reeling at 7/4.

Also, it was some really good captaincy from Virat Kohli, who was always looking to get wickets and therefore persisted with Samuel Badree from one end. The move worked for Kohli as the leg-spinner picked up his fourth wicket in his final over to finish with amazing figures of 4-1-9-4.

At this stage of the match, the Mumbai Indians required 110 runs to win from 72 balls with only 5 wickets in hand. If they wanted to pull off a win from here on, they needed something special from at least one of their batsmen. This was the time when Krunal Pandya joined hands with Kieron Pollard and scripted a terrific comeback for their side.

The two batsmen took calculated risks and made sure that the required run-rate doesn’t get out of their reach. While Pandya played the role of a supporting anchor to perfection, it was the big man, Pollard, who grabbed all the limelight. The Trinidadian, who took his time initially to settle down, played a smart and sensible knock to turn the match around.

Together, the two added 93 runs for the 6th wicket partnership and completely snatched the match from RCB’s grasp. Even though Pollard couldn’t finish the match off for his team, his knock of 70 was more than enough to put his team in a winning position. In the end, it were the Pandya brothers, who finished off the match in style – Krunal hitting a four and Hardik smashing a six – to help the MI win the match by 4 wickets.

Earlier in the day, it was due to some really fine bowling performance from the Mumbai bowlers, which helped them to restrict the powerful RCB batting lineup to a modest total. Apart from Virat Kohli (62), every other batsman from the home side struggled to score runs on a relaid Bengaluru wicket, as they managed to score only 142 in their 20 overs.

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