Brilliant Royal Challengers Bangalore maul Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets

Unheralded pacer R Vinay Kumar produced a sensational three-wicket burst before Jacques Kallis (66 not out) heroics as Royal Challengers Bangalore spanked Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in an Indian Premier League match here on Saturday.

Vinay Kumar (3/25) dismissed Ambati Rayudu (3), Sachin Tendulkar (25) and Dwayne Bravo (1) in one over — his third and Mumbai’s 11th — and he was ably supported by Dale Steyn (3/26) in restricting Mumbai Indians to 151 for 9 after the home side elected to bat at the Brabourne Stadium.

Chasing the modest target, RCB romped home with five balls to spare with opener Kallis top-scoring with a 55-ball unbeaten 66 — his third IPL 3 half-century – and returning unconquered for the fourth time as the visitors notched up their third win on the trot after losing their opening match against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Manish Pandey, the other opener, and one-down Robin Uthappa contributed 40 and 23 respectively as RCB ended at 155 for three in 19.1 overs with Kallis hitting a four to win the match in style.

For Mumbai Indians, who tasted their first defeat after beating Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in their earlier two matches, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh picked up a wicket apiece conceding 18 and 35 runs respectively.

With Saturday’s win, RCB are now on top of IPL 3 table with six points from four matches.

The in-form opening pair of Pandey (40 in 27 balls) and Kallis, who struck 10 fours in the 55 balls he faced on Saturday, gave the Bangalore side a flying start scoring 85 in 9.5 overs and paved the way for a convincing victory.

The great South African all-rounder is yet to be dismissed in the tournament after accumulating 264 runs, the most in the IPL 3 so far.

MI needed quick and early wickets to defend the small total but fielding let them down as both Pandey and Kallis were put down when they were yet to score.

Pandey was let off by stumper Aditya Tare off Zaheer in the first over and then Rayudu failed to latch on to a flick at mid-wicket by Kallis off Lasith Malinga in the second.

While Pandey was not averse to taking the aerial route, slamming Bravo and Harbhajan for a six each, Kallis used the conventional shots to get the runs.

In two overs, the burly Kallis – who had scored unbeaten 89, 65 and 44 in his previous three knocks – increased the run-tempo, straight-driving and pulling Malinga for two fours and then hitting Pollard for three successive boundaries.

RCB had raced to 55 without loss during the Power Play and though they lost Pandey when he became over-ambitious against Harbhajan, they were too far ahead of the race.

Uthappa slammed a quick-fire 23 in 15 balls with two fours and a six while Virat Kohli also stepped up to gather runs at a fast clip, slamming Harbhajan Singh over long-on for two successive sixes before being dismissed for 17.

Earlier, Vinay Kumar’s three-wicket burst in Mumbai 11th over saw the home team, seemingly on course to a formidable score, slid from 71 for two to 76 for six in a jiffy.

MI had lost veteran Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya in the second over, made a brief recovery to 36 before one-down Aditya Tare fell and then rallied through an enterprising stand between in-form batsmen Tendulkar and Saurabh Tiwary only to lose four wickets in a heap.

RCB captain Anil Kumble started the slide soon after the strategic time-out called for by the fielding side at 69 for two in nine overs. He sent back the left-handed, long-haired Tiwary for 25 in 21 balls with three fours. Vinay followed suit with his brilliant three-wicket haul.

The innings was restored by the seventh wicket pair of R Satish (24 in 22 balls with 3 fours) and big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard (21 in 19 balls with a four and a six), The duo put on 47 runs, stepping up the run-rate after the mandatory batting side time-out at the end of the 16th over when MI were 108 for six.

Coming out at number 10, Zaheer Khan made a cameo of 23 off just nine balls from which he hit three fours and a six to take the Mumbai score past 150.

It was another disciplined bowling display and excellent fielding effort by RCB following their stupendous show in dismissing Rajasthan Royals for 92 in their previous match.

The home side started sedately with openers Sanath Jayasuriya and captain Tendulkar preferring to take sharp singles against Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn.

Three sharp singles and a two took the score to five in the first over from Kumar before losing the left-handed Jayasuriya in the second over.

The former Sri Lanka captain tried to flick a ball from the stumps off Steyn and was rapped in front to leave Mumbai at six for one.

Tendulkar then struck Steyn in the bowler’s second over for three consecutive flicked fours off his toes and pads as the pacer erred in line to show he continued in the form after scoring a splendid half-century against the Delhi Daredevils.

But the home team lost Aditya Tare in the next over bowled by Jacques Kallis with the score on 36, holing out to short mid-wicket fielder Manish Pandey.

Next man Saurabh Tiwary, who came into the tie with back-to-back half tons, stepped out in a predetermined fashion to Vinay Kumar and pulled him for his first boundary.

MI then lost four wickets in ten balls, including Tendulkar, after the first strategic time out resumption and three of them fell in one over from Vinay Kumar.

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