Mumbai, April 17: Virat Kohli waged a lonely war as Royal Challengers Bangalore handed Mumbai Indians their first win in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday (April 17). Rohit Sharma's 94, the highest individual score this season, and Evin Lewis' 65 was enough for the hosts to post an imposing 213/6 in their 20 overs.
Faced with a stiff target of 214, Kohli (92 n.o off 62) opened the innings and took matters into his own hands. It was the second time that RCB conceded 200-plus runs, after Sanju Samson's 92 helped Rajasthan Royals set a 218-run target for RCB a couple of days ago. RCB, however, haven't been able to chase totals successfully this season, falling short of Mumbai's score by 46 runs.
Nothing seems to be going right for Kohli's team. Even as he stayed till the end of the game and overtook Suresh Raina (4,619 vs 4,558) as the highest scorer in the IPL, his teammates didn't quite stay long at the crease. Earlier, his bowlers ruined a good start to concede 213 runs. The script was similar to the game against Royals.
Kohli replaced the misfiring Brendon McCullum with Corey Anderson but it turned out to be a recipe for disaster. Anderson, whose 95 took MI to the playoffs in 2014, slogged it across to JP Duminy at deep midwicket off the very first ball. Mandeep Singh survived a stumping chance off Mayank Markande only to be taken out by Krunal Pandya. The left-arm spinner returned to tempt Washington Sundar play a lofted shot to Suryakumar Yadav at long-off.
If Krunal's 3/28 in four overs foiled RCB's chase, Rohit's 94 was certainly the match-winning performance of the day. Ishan Kishan was forced off the field after misjudging a throw by Hardik Pandya in the 13th over of the RCB innings. Mitchell McClenaghan dismissed the other danger men - Quinton de Kock (19) and AB de Villiers (1). And like that, RCB's chase crumbled.
Put into bat earlier, MI skipper Rohit (94 off 52) dropped himself to No 4, sending in Suryakumar Yadav to open the innings with Evin Lewis (65 off 42). That didn't change anything in reality as Suryakumar and then No 3 batsman Ishan Kishan fell to consecutive deliveries off RCB right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav, effectively making Rohit the opener.
Not bogged down by the shock start, Lewis and Rohit took control of the powerplay. The West Indian Lewis made the most of the loose balls gifted by the RCB bowlers, Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj in particular.
Sundar went for 19 runs in the fourth over, while Siraj conceded 16 the very next over with both giving away five wides each. Chris Woakes rescued RCB by restricting the Lewis onslaught but MI still made 60/2 in the first powerplay.
Lewis took no time to get to his fifty, bringing it up with a six over midwicket off Yuzvendra Chahal. At the other end, Rohit picked the gap cover region to smash two quick boundaries off left-arm medium pacer Corey Anderson.
The RCB spinners Chahal and Sundar were once again at the receiving end of the big shots, both leaking 32 runs each without even bowling their full quota of overs.
Lewis quickly moved onto the sixties by punching two sixes off Chahal - over midwicket and long-off - in the 11th over. Anderson then bowled it a bit slow as Lewis went for the shot early and lofted it in the air only to be picked up by a retreating Quinton de Kock.
Umesh finally returned for his second spell in the 15th over but wasn't as effective as the first. Rohit brought up his fifty in style, pulling Umesh for a six over deep square leg and then following it up with a boundary through the gap between point and third man. Rohit read Umesh well, plucking a fully tossed delivery over the fine leg boundary. But that was the only big shot that Rohit could manage over the Indian and yet, the other five balls yielded seven runs for MI.
Hardik Pandya survived a review and punished Chris Woakes for two sixes - over fine leg and midwicket - to liven up the death overs.