Mumbai Indians put in their best performance so far to chalk up their first win of the 2015 Indian Premier League as they defeated a fighting Royal Challengers Bangalore by 18 runs here on Sunday.
Playing with a positive intent, Mumbai, thanks to half-centuries by Lendl Simmons (59 off 44 balls) and India Under-19 captain Unmukt Chand (58 off 37) along with a 15-ball 42 by skipper Rohit Sharma, piled on 209 for 7 after being asked to bat first.
In reply, RCB were never really in the hunt despite cameos by South Africans AB de Villiers (41 off 11) and David Wiese (47* off 25). They could only manage 191 for seven as the Indians attack, spearheaded by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (3 for 27) restricted the hosts.
The RCB chase stuttered and nearly stalled with Chris Gayle, dropped twice, making just 10 runs off 24 balls, before being bowled by the crafty Harbhajan, who brought into play his vast experience and guile to contain the rival batsmen.
At the other end, opener Manvinder Bisla (20), Virat Kohli (18) and Dinesh Karthik (18) threw their bats around but did not stay long enough to make a difference as RCB slid to their second defeat in three matches.
It was left to De Villiers to perform a rescue act as the South African flew into gear before lofting seamer Jasprit Bumrah straight to Kieron Pollard at long-on.
With his exit, RCB’s hopes sank despite some heavy hitting by Wiese in the latter part of the chase.
Earlier, the Mumbai batsmen took advantage of wayward RCB bowling as Simmons and Chand laid the foundation with a 72-run partnership for the second wicket after the early exit of Parthiv Patel (12).
Later, Sharma, coming in at No.4 instead of his customary opening slot, and Chand added 63 runs for the third wicket to ensure a 200-plus total.
While Simmons unleashed a flurry of power-packed shots, Chand, having switched from Delhi Daredevils with whom he had a disappointing season last year, excelled with well-timed shots and Sharma, as usual, was all class as the trio took the RCB bowling to the cleaners.
The hosts derived some solace when South African all-rounder Wiese, playing his first game this IPL season, picked up three wickets in his final over, the 19th of the innings, when he dismissed Kieron Pollard (5), Ambati Rayudu (0) and Sharma in four deliveries to add to the wicket of Parthiv Patel for a haul of 4 for 32.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal did well to pick up two for 28, but with other bowlers leaking runs, his impact was negligible.