Mumbai Indians relied on a late assault from Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in their crucial IPL match and keep their hopes of a play-offs berth alive on Wednesday.
Chasing 152 for a win, Pollard and Buttler smashed unbeaten cameos of 35 and 29 respectively to share 55 runs from just 3.3 overs for the unbroken fifth wicket to take Mumbai home with eight balls to spare at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Snapping the three-match losing streak with back-to-back victories against Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab is expected to hold them in good stead when they play at their own backyard at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
In fact, their victory in a nail-biting finish over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali last night should give the Bangalore outfit a lot of confidence.
A loss tomorrow, however, will land them in big trouble and it would become tougher for them to enter the playoffs.
All eyes once again will be on skipper Virat Kohli, whose performance in the ongoing IPL has left oppositions dumbstruck. He is leading the batting chart with 561 runs so far, which includes two centuries and four half-tons.
Besides the captain, RCB have also been relying heavily on their star batsman A B de Villiers. The South African proved his prowess yet again last night when he hit a 35-ball 64 to guide the team to a competitive 175. Opener KL Rahul (42) also chipped in with important contribution.
Rahul and all-rounder Shane Watson have proved to be important cogs in Bangalore’s wheels with some crucial knocks.
With the likes of Chris Gayle warming the bench, the Royal Challengers perhaps have the most intimidating batting line-up, but their pedestrian bowling attack has failed to defend 180-plus scores in most of the matches.
Their two best performers with the ball have been Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal but the likes of Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron and Chris Jordan have all leaked runs.
Come on Wednesday, RCB bowlers would have to put up a much better performance to support the team’s batting department.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians would be keen to make quick amends from their humiliating 85-run defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match.
Placed fifth in the table with 10 points, Mumbai Indians have a great chance of displacing Delhi Daredevils from number four position in the table and entering the top-four bracket
with a win against the home team in Bengaluru.