KARACHI: A low-intensity blast may have delayed the start of the match but it failed to distract Mumbai Indians from crushing Royal Challengers Bangalore by 57 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Mumbai, who scored a mammoth 191, restricted Bangalore to 134 to set up their 10th victory. Despite the absence of a substantial individual contribution from the Mumbai batsmen, it was Ambati Rayadu (46) and JP Duminy (42) who kept the run-rate high.
After posting a formidable total, Mumbai put a stranglehold on the game with disciplined bowling as they took wickets at regular intervals. No batsman was allowed to push up the scoring as Dilhara Fernando and Harbhajan Singh grabbed a brace before Kieron Pollard struck twice at the end to go with his earlier wicket of Robin Uthappa.
Pollard dismissed the highest scorer Virat Kohli (37) as the match headed to a onesided finish. Deccan beat Punjab Deccan Chargers overtook Kings XI Punjab’s competitive total of 174 in the final over to beat them by five wickets and be virtually guaranteed a place in the semi-finals.
Rohit Sharma blazed away with a whirlwind 68 off only 38 balls and added 66 with T Suman (43) to charge towards the target. Sharma, who is the sixth highest run-scorer in the tournament with 391 in 13 games, hit six fours and three sixes. His innings overshadowed Mahela Jayawardene’s earlier effort that led Punjab to 174.
Jayawardene hit 93 off 62 deliveries and was ably supported by the captain Kumar Sangakkara (52). It was not enough to halt the Deccan charge, winning their seventh game in the IPL and moving to fourth place in the eight-team IPL. Punjab with four wins and nine losses are already out of the semi-final race.
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