Suryakumar Yadav carried his bat, scoring a brilliant 79* and powered Mumbai Indians to an emphatic 5-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday (October 28) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The defending champions Mumbai are now, right at the cusp of the all-important play-off berth.
Chasing RCB’s competitive total of 164, Mumbai Indians got off to a steady start with Ishan Kishan accompanying Quinton de Kock – with regular opener and skipper Rohit Sharma out with a hamstring injury.
Kishan and de Kock engaged in a 37-run opening stand before de Kock (18 off 19 balls) was accounted for by Mohammed Siraj in the sixth over. Kishan too followed him soon, getting deceived in the flight by Yuzvendra Chahal and departing for 25 (off 19 balls).
Suryakumar, entered the pitch at his usual number three spot and looked in golden touch right from the get go. While the spin duo of Chahal and Sundar were troubling the other batsmen, Yadav had no problems as he swept them at will and never broke a sweat.
Siraj picked another as Padikkal took a blinder of a catch to dismiss Saurabh Tiwary for just 5. Krunal Pandya too flattered to deceive and gave his wicket to Chahal.
Yadav ensured that Mumbai were in the mix despite the quick fall of wickets. He hit three fours in the 13th over of Dale Steyn and sent across his message and followed it up by hammering three fours against Siraj, to bring up his fifty in just 29 balls.
He got some good company in the end from Hardik Pandya (17 off 15 balls) who hit a huge six against Chris Morris at a crucial juncture in the game. Suryakumar was on a mission in this game. It felt like he wanted to say something to the national selectors, who didn’t pick him for the Australian tour. The 30-year-old finished things off by hitting Siraj for a four at deep extra cover on the first ball of the final over.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians stand-in captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and opted to bowl first. RCB’s opening duo of Devdutt Padikkal and Josh Philippe had other ideas, however, as they stitched a rapid 71-run opening stand. The Australian Philippe, was brought into the side to replace his fellow Aussie Aaron Finch and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
It was leggie Rahul Chahar who provided the opening breakthrough, stumping out Philippe in the 8th over. Virat Kohli’s rusty little cameo was over as he was sent packing by Jasprit Bumrah. AB de Villiers was unfortunate as he was caught for 15 in the deep on a full toss from Pollard.
Then RCB collapsed with Bumrah at the helm of affairs. The speedster got hold of Shivam Dube and the well set Padikkal in the same over (17th) which was also a double-wicket maiden. Boult, too, picked-up his first removing Morris. In a span of 6 balls, RCB lost three wickets in exchange of just 4 runs. Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-1-14-3.
Padikkal scored 74 (off 45 balls; 4×12, 6×1) which is his highest in the small IPL career he has had. The youngster looked at ease in the middle with no sign of nerves. Ultimately, it was his sheer brilliance that powered RCB to a respectable 164/4 although, they would have fancied around 180-190 on the day with the start that they had.
With this victory, Mumbai consolidated their position at the top of the points table and are virtually into the playoffs now. Suryakumar Yadav was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his thrilling knock.