Millennium Post

RCB manage 170/7 despite initial hiccups

Put in to bat, RCB powered their way to 49 for 1 in the first six overs and 89 for 1 after first 10 overs. But the next 10 yielded only 81 runs at the loss of six wickets.

A double strike in five balls by left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya (2/27) packed off the visiting team s danger men captain Virat Kohli (33 in 30 balls) and AB de Villiers (29 in 21 balls). It also applied the brakes in scoring after the duo added 59 runs in 39 balls for the second wicket.

Jasprit Bumrah (3/31) sent back another big hitter Shane Watson cheaply in the 14th over to stall RCB’s hopes of a huge total. Debutant left-handed batsman Travis Head (37 off 24 balls) tried his best to up the run-rate and made 37 off 24 balls while adding 63 runs off 34 balls with Sarfaraz Khan, who made a quick 28 off 18 balls that helped RCB post a competitive score in the end.

Pandya was the pick of the MI bowlers with figures of 2 for 27 while Bumrah, who took two wickets in the last over.

Tim Southee bowled economically without taking a wicket while Mitchell McClenaghan was punished in his latter spell to end up with an expensive 1 for 46. Mumbai Indians started the bowling proceedings against the new RCB opening combination of skipper Kohli and KL Rahul (23), given his first game of the season after RCB made six changes in the playing XI with their New Zealand pace duo of Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan.

Both Kohli (33 off 30 balls) and Rahul (23 off 14), who was hit on the helmet off the first ball he faced from left arm McClenaghan, were troubled by the movement extracted off the pitch in the first two overs.

The third over was dramatic as Rahul made room by drawing away to leg to swat the short ball from McClenaghan over covers for a six and then upper cut the next one for another maximum before turning the third off his hip for a four.  But the Kiwi extracted his revenge off the next all by having the batsman, who hit 2 sixes and as many fours, caught at slip with a ball that just angled away to make it 32 for 1. This brought in A B de Villiers to the crease and he showed his improvisation soon after Harbhajan Singh was brought on to bowl the first over after power play, at the end of which RCB were 49 for 1, by reverse-hitting the off spinner for a four.

The senior bowler then leaked 13 runs in his second over with Kohli hitting him for two fours while de Villiers contemptuously pulled Hardik Pandya for a six as RCB raced to 89 in 10 overs. 1st innings report
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