Riding on twin unbeaten half-centuries from Jean-Paul Duminy and Ajinkya Rahane, Mumbai Indians snapped their three-match losing streak with a convincing 16-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Mumbai posted a challenging 157 for two from their 20 overs, thanks to Duminy (59 not out) and Rahane (62 not out), and then restricted Bangalore to 141 for seven to record their fourth win from 10 matches and keep their semifinal hopes alive.
Mumbai’s good batting performance was complemented by their bowlers who bowled a tight line and length. Harbhajan Singh was the most successful bowler with 2/15 while Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Dwayne Bravo and debutant Chetanya Nanda took a wicket apiece.
Bangalore were never in the run chase, losing wickets in quick succession in the early overs and no substantial partnership to boast of – the highest being the 23 between openers Jacques Kallis and Virat Kohli.
Their top five batsmen — Kallis (12), Kohli (20), Robin Uthappa (4), Ross Taylor (16) and Rahul Dravid (10) — did not contribute much and Bangalore ended their 20 overs 16 short of Mumbai total.
Wicket-keeper Mark Boucher waged a lonely battle with a valiant unbeaten innings of 33-ball 48 that was the highest score for Bangalore.
Bangalore looked like to be off to a good start with Kallis finding a few boundaries early on but gradually they lost momentum with wickets falling in quick succession.
Kallis was first to go for a 10-ball 12 in fourth over, holing out to Kulkarni at third man while trying to cut Bravo. Uthappa’s poor form continued as he was out cheaply for just four next over, offering an easy catch to Tendulkar at mid-wicket off Kulkarni.
From 31 for two after the fifth over, Bangalore clawed to 58 for four after the 10th with Kohli and Dravid falling during that period.
Kohli had to take the risk to accelerate the run rate and in doing so he gave Nanda his first IPL wicket in the sixth over while Dravid was run out in the 10th over.
The former India captain was well short of his crease while running for a second run with Harbhajan dislodging the bail after picking a Malinga throw from the deep.
Bangalore batsmen tried to accelerate the run rate which has shot up to over 10 after the 10th over and over 11 after the 15th, and they fell one by one in doing so.
Taylor fell to Malinga while playing a big shot, Roelof van der Merwe (3) was brilliantly stumped by wicketkeeper Yogesh Takawale off an impressive Harbhajan who also claimed Vinay Kumar’s (7) wicket.
Boucher and captain Anil Kumble (seven not out) needed 40 off the last two overs but that was too tough a task and they could score only 23.
Earlier, Duminy and Rahane shared 104 runs from 72 balls for the third wicket, the highest for that wicket in the IPL, after openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya had departed by the eighth over at team total of 53.
The duo scored 53 from the last five overs to take past Mumbai total over 150 at St George Park which offered swing and bounce early on.
Duminy hit two fours and three sixes in his 41-ball innings to notch up his fourth IPL fifty, while Rahane, who scored his maiden IPL half century, struck four fours and a six from 49 balls.
The Mumbai innings, however, began on a disastrous note with captain Tendulkar out for a duck after facing three balls in the second over.
The master batsman edged an out-swinging ball off Vinay Kumar and Mark Boucher made no mistake behind the wickets.
Tendulkar, without a half century in his nine innings so far, continued his poor run in the IPL having scored just 63 from his last six innings.
Jayasuriya and Rahane then shared 48 runs for the second wicket to take Mumbai to 53 for two before the former was LBW to van Merwe for a 27-ball 29, studded with four fours.
Mumbai reached 42 for one after five overs but the Bangalore slow bowlers tied them down to 67 for two after 10 and 104 for two after the 15th.
For Bangalore, van Merwe took 1/17 from his three overs while Vinay Kumar got one wicket for 30 runs.