Moeen Ali excelled in both batting and bowling. A.B. de Villiers continued his love affair with Wankhede Stadium with a valuable, albeit scratchy, 75.
Still, the duo’s effort was not enough to keep Royal Challengers Bangalore’ comeback on course as Mumbai Indians crossed a moderate target of 172 runs without much fuss to virtually put an end to the former’s hopes of making the Playoffs.
With the strip, which offered considerable bounce and zip, starting to turn in the latter half, it was one bad call by the coaching staff ahead of the penultimate over that resulted in Hardik Pandya finishing the game with an unbeaten cameo which completed a five-wicket win with an over to spare.
With MI needing 22 off the last two overs and big-hitters Hardik and Kieron Pollard at the crease, the RCB bowling coach insisted on utilising left-arm spinner Pawan Negi.
Captain Virat Kohli agreed, despite having pacers Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj and Umesh Yadav at his disposal, and Hardik made the visitors rue the decision.
After failing to connect the first ball, the all-rounder struck two fours and as many straight sixes before a wide and a single off the last ball sealed MI’s fifth win of the season.
Had it not been for Pollard’s stunning effort in the field and Lasith Malinga’s man-of-the-match-winning spell on his return, MI could well have been chasing a bigger target.
With Moeen, who was hitting the ball cleanly, and de Villiers adding 95 runs, RCB was set for a final flurry, placed at 144 for two in 17 overs. Malinga, however, picked four for 14 in his last two overs to ensure RCB did not run away with the game.
While Moeen’s wicket off a slower ball set the tone, Pollard’s direct hit from the deep in the last over caught de Villiers short after Akshdeep Nath declined a second run. de Villiers’ six over deep fine off the first ball of the over was the only scoring shot off the bat in the last over.
Parthiv Patel c Suryakumar b Hardik 28 (20b, 4×4, 1×6), Virat Kohli c de Kock b Behrendorff 8 (9b, 1×4), A.B. de Villiers run out 75 (51b, 6×4, 4×6), Moeen Ali c Hardik b Malinga 50 (32b, 1×4, 5×6), Marcus Stoinis c Rohit b Malinga 0 (2b), Akshdeep Nath c de Kock b Malinga 2 (3b), Pawan Negi c de Kock b Malinga 0 (2b), Umesh Yadav (not out) 0 (1b), Mohammad Siraj (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-2, lb-5, w-1): 8; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 171.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-12 (Kohli, 2.1 overs), 2-49 (Parthiv, 6.6), 3-144 (17.1, Moeen), 4-151 (Stoinis, 17.5), 5-169 (de Villiers, 19.2), 6-169 (Akshdeep, 19.3), 7-169 (Negi, 19.5).
MUMBAI INDIANS BOWLING
Behrendorff 4-0-49-1, Malinga 4-0-31-4, Bumrah 4-1-22-0, Hardik 3-0-21-1, Rahul Chahar 4-0-31-0, Krunal 1-0-10-0.
Rohit Sharma b Moeen 28 (19b, 2×4, 2×6), Quinton de Kock lbw b Moeen 40 (26b, 5×4, 2×6), Suryakumar Yadav c Saini b Chahal 29 (23b, 2×4, 1×6), Ishan Kishan st. Parthiv b Chahal 21 (9b, 3×6), Krunal Pandya c sub b Siraj 11 (21b, 1×4), Hardik Pandya (not out) 37 (16b, 5×4, 2×6), Kieron Pollard (not out) 0 (0); Extras (w-6): 6; Total (for five wkts. in 19 overs): 172.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-70 (Rohit, 7.1 overs), 2-71 (de Kock, 7.4), 3-104 (Ishan, 10.3), 4-129 (Suryakumar, 15.3), 5-148 (Krunal, 17.5).
Umesh 2-0-25-0, Saini 3-0-34-0, Siraj 2-0-21-1, Chahal 4-0-27-2, Negi 4-0-47-0, Moeen 4-0-18-2.
Toss: Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians won by five wkts. with six balls remaining.