Scores | Action in images | Bumrah's impressive debut
Chris Gayle’s brilliant unbeaten 92, most of those scored one one leg, made the difference in a low-scoring game where the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Mumbai Indians by two runs in a last-ball finish.
Dinesh Karthik nearly spoilt Bangalore’s home game with a late assault on Daniel Christian and Muttiah Muralitharan. Christian’s last over went for 24 runs in which he conceded three sixes and a four off consecutive balls to Karthik, who then slog-swept Muralitharan for another six to bring Bangalore close to the target.
It was Vinay Kumar’s tight last over that settled matters. Ten runs were needed when Vinay dismissed Karthik and Ambati Rayudu with consecutive balls, leaving Kieron Pollard eight to get from the last two balls.
Pollard hammered the first down the ground for four. It could have easily been a six with the ball landing millimetres from the rope. Pollard couldn’t repeat the dose on the last ball, a yorker, and those few millimetres cost Mumbai the game.
Ricky Ponting had called Mumbai called Bangalore to bat on a wicket with some grass on it. The teenaged Jasprit Bumrah made an impressive debut, taking 3-32 including Virat Kohli in his first over.
A SUPERLATIVE PARTNERSHIP
Tendulkar looked in an impetuous mood, charging the Bangalore bowlers, lifting them a few times over their heads. There was a mini-battle in the match, that of him and Muttiah Muralitharan. Tendulkar won that won, lofting the veteran off-spinner twice for fours.
His opening partnership with Ponting had its moments. Ponting, easily the better athlete of the two, had his troubles fine-tuning their running between the wickets. The Australian, despite his advanced age, threatened to turn ones into twos and twos into threes, and Tendulkar was struggling to keep pace.
The partnership ended in a run-out. It was a delicate line-call for Tendulkar, as it was for Ponting who was out stumped to Murali Kartik.
Kohli, Bangalore’s new captain, displayed rare candour at the toss when he said losing the toss was “unfortunate” and that he too was looking to bowl first on the wicket that had a bit of grass.
The effects of the greenery was felt immediately when Mitchell Johnson bowled a superlative first over in which he came close to dismissing both Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan. There was bounce. There was zip and Johnson was also found some out-swing. Dilshan survived the first over, but lost his stumps trying to accelerate in Johnson’s second over.
Kohli whipped his first ball off Johnson for four, and took over the job of quick scoring while Gayle took his time to get going. With five fours, Kohli raced to 24 before falling to a straight ball from debutant Bumrah.
Bumrah, the 19-year-old from Ahmedabad, had been the topic of discussion before the game. He started off poorly with Kohli taking three fours off his first four balls. The game was held up for a few minutes while sawdust was sprinkled over the slippery bowling crease.
After the break, with his concentration sufficiently disturbed, Bumrah dismissed Kohli and then accounted for Mayank Agarwal before finishing with the wicket of Karun Nair.
Gayle, who’d been watching the Bumrah show unfold, waited it out for about 18 balls. He then cut loose – a magnificently-timed whip for four was followed with a thump down the ground for six, and young Bumrah found out the hard way what the explosive Jamaican is all about.
ON ONE LEG
In the 10th over, Gayle injured himself at the bowler’s end when Harbhajan Singh collided with him going for a return catch. Gayle started cramping in the leg, and did most of his running thereafter hobbling. Not that this had any effect on his run-gathering.
He welcomed his West Indian team-mate Kieron Pollard with two fours and a six that went 95 metres through long-on. He cover-drove Harbhajan for another six and then butchered Munaf Patel in his final two overs, taking four fours and two sixes off the seamer to finish off the innings. Those runs tipped the game in Bangalore's favour.
Just as he tends to do in so many of his T20 knocks, Gayle waits out the troublesome overs against the new ball and cuts loose against the second line of bowlers. Gayle looks to bat 20 overs. More often than not, this produces match-winning efforts for his teams. Today was one of those days.