Royal Challengers Bangalore hired 'Junior Bumrah' to prepare themselves for the real one. However, when Mumbai Indians' very own Jasprit Bumrah ran in at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, they still had no answers to his ferocious yorkers as the 25-year-old proved out to be the difference between the two sides.
The right-arm pacer scalped 3 for 20 and was able to overshadow AB de Villiers' masterclass to help Mumbai claim a thrilling six-run victory on Thursday (March 29). The match, however, ended on a controversial note - with seven needed off the final ball, Lasith Malinga overstepped but umpire S Ravi didn't pick it, leaving the entire RCB team in disbelief.
Earlier, all of Mumbai's top-four batsmen got starts but couldn't convert those cameos into something big. They slumped from 142 for 3 to 147 for 7 with Yuzvendra Chahal (4 for 38) doing most of the damage. However, that's when Hardik Pandya walked out and slammed an unbeaten 32 in 14 deliveries to push Mumbai to 187 for 8 in their 20 overs. In reply, de Villiers hammered an unbeaten 41-ball 70, decorated with four fours and six maximums, but it was still not enough as Mumbai rode on Bumrah and Malinga's brilliance to clinch two points.
Asked to bat, Mumbai needed a good start from their openers on a solid batting deck and that's exactly what they got from Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. Bangalore pacers failed to get their line and length right inside the powerplay and Mumbai openers made the most of it.
It all started with Rohit glancing a couple of deliveries down the leg side before de Kock too got into the act with a boundary down the ground. Rohit, in particular, was looking in fine touch and his trademark pull shot for a maximum off Navdeep Saini's bowling was a proof for it. The two kept finding boundaries every over and got Mumbai past the 50-run mark by the end of six overs.
Colin de Grandhomme dropped a simple catch of De Kock but the left-hander from South Africa failed to cash in, falling in the very next over for 23. Once the powerplay was done, Virat Kohli straightaway handed the ball to Chahal and the leggie breached de Kock's reverse sweep to clean him up.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav, however, kept the scoreboard moving but there was a clear drop in the scoring rate. Despite a couple of decent overs, Kohli knew the amount of damage Rohit can cause and brought in Umesh Yadav (2 for 26) for his second spell. The right-arm paceman kept bowling short and managed to force Rohit to miscue a pull shot. The Mumbai captain crafted eight fours and a six in his 33-ball 48, but got out at a very wrong time.
Coming in at No. 4, Yuvraj Singh wasted no time and smoked Chahal for three consecutive sixes before mistiming one to long off in the fourth delivery, falling for 12-ball 23. Suryakumar went after Moeen Ali and de Grandhomme but just like other batsmen, failed to convert it into a big score. In his final over, Chahal first had Suryakumar caught at point for 24-ball 38 and then also got rid of Kieron Pollard (5) in the same over to register his second-best figures in the IPL.
There was hardly any contribution from Krunal Pandya (1) and Mitchell McClenaghan (1) as the visiting side kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Having lost all the other frontline batsmen, the burden of getting Mumbai over the 180-run mark fell on Hardik's shoulders and the flamboyant didn't disappoint. He went hard in the final two overs and tonked three huge sixes and two fours to not just spoil Saini (0 for 40) and Mohammed Siraj's (2 for 38) bowling figures, but also took his team to a par score.
Bangalore sent out Moeen (13) to open to provide them rapid start but the left-hander couldn't survive for long as he was run out after hitting a four and six in back-to-back deliveries. Coming in at No. 3, Kohli announced his arrival in style, smashing five fours in his first nine deliveries. The batting maestro took the attack to Bumrah and Hardik, and Rohit was forced to introduce a spinner in the sixth over.
That's when Parthiv Patel joined the party and welcomed Krunal with a four and six through the leg side. Just when it looked like the partnership was getting dangerous, Mayank Markande knocked Parthiv over for 22-ball 31. He could have also had AB de Villiers on the very next delivery if Yuvraj would's have dropped a catch at first slip.
Following Parthiv's dismissal, Markande and Krunal sent out a couple of quiet overs and tied things up. With over 100 runs required in the last 10 overs, de Villiers finally managed to break the shackles with two maximums. In the process, Kohli became only the second batsman after Suresh Raina to go past 5000 runs in IPL.
The 49-run stand came to an end when Bumrah returned to take his revenge and dismissed Kohli for a 32-ball 46 and brought Mumbai right back in the game.
Needing 72 in the last six overs, the onus was on de Villiers to get Bangalore over the line and the South African went after Malinga, claiming 20 runs in the 16 overs, to bring the equation down to 41 off 24 deliveries. While de Villiers was going berserk, he lacked support from the other end. The likes of Shimron Hetmyer (5) and de Grandhomme found it tough against Bumrah and the required run rate kept climbing up.
De Villiers, however, kept going and smacked Hardik for 4, 6 and 6 in the 18th over, but Bumrah delivered an outstanding penultimate over, giving away just five runs.
With 17 to defend in the final over, Shivam Dube smashed the very first delivery for a six over long off, but Malinga made a stunning comeback and delivered five solid yorkers to make sure all Dube and de Villiers could manage were five singles. However, things might would have ended on a different note if the umpire would have spotted that no ball.