Suryakumar Yadav showed what the Indian side may miss in Australia, coming up with a superlative batting effort (79 n.o., 43b, 10×4, 3×6) to lead Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
MI is now up to 16 points and has two games left. No team with as many points has missed out on a top-four spot in an eight-team IPL.
Jasprit Bumrah (4-1-14-3) played no less a part than Suryakumar, bowling a superb 2-1-5-2 spell at the death to restrict RCB to just 164 after the latter was 129 for two after 15 overs.
During the chase, MI, sans Rohit Sharma, was lumbering, scoring at a rate of just over six in the first nine overs. It was then that the prolific Suryakumar took over, sweeping Yuzvendra Chahal for a six and a four in the tenth.
Saurabh Tiwary fell to a stunning catch by Devdutt Padikkal at mid-off, but Suryakumar was unaffected, hitting Chahal over cover for six and then smashing three fours off Dale Steyn.
With 48 required from five overs, Suryakumar slammed three more boundaries, this time off Mohammed Siraj, with a flick, a drive and an upper-cut. Perhaps bored at the other end, Hardik Pandya hit a six, engaged in a verbal duel with Chris Morris and was dismissed before Suryakumar finished things off by lifting Siraj over the infield.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, RCB rode on Padikkal’s fine half-century (74, 45b, 12×4, 1×6). Josh Philippe (33, 24b, 4×4, 1×6) joined Padikkal at the top after Aaron Finch was dropped and the two scored at nine an over in the PowerPlay.
However, the cheap dismissals of Kohli and A.B. de Villiers hurt RCB. The skipper tried to pull a short ball from Bumrah, but connected with it too high on the bat. Tiwary completed a fine running catch from short mid-wicket for the speedster’s 100th IPL wicket. de Villiers, after warming up with a scooped six, fell to a wobbly full toss from Kieron Pollard.
Bumrah pinned RCB down with a double-wicket maiden (17th over) that included the prized scalp of Padikkal. RCB barely raised its head thereafter.