Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Bangalore April 4, 2013

Three legends do battle

Plays of the Day from the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Bangalore
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The near déjà vus
In front of the biggest Test crowd Sri Lanka had ever played for, Tillakaratne Dilshan played one of the most boneheaded shots of his career against Mitchell Johnson, who cleaned him up last Boxing Day. Johnson's first ball to Dilshan on Thursday was almost a repeat. Seeing it pitch on middle, Dilshan aimed a heave across the line, and missed the ball by a distance as it straightened. Luckily for the batsman, the bounce in the Bangalore pitch took the ball over the stumps. He was not so fortunate in Johnson's next over, when he played a similar shot to a delivery on the same line, but fuller in length. Dilshan missed again, and the ball uprooted off stump. 




The pitch repair
At 19, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah made his IPL debut against Royal Challengers, and the beginning of his first spell betrayed his nerves, as he pitched short and wide to Virat Kohli, who smote him on the offside for three boundaries. After the fourth ball, however, he alerted the umpire to some loose soil on the crease where he had landed, and had a groundsman fill that area in with sawdust. From then on, Bumrah was a man transformed. He trapped Kohli lbw next ball, then dismissed Mayank Agarwal with his first ball next over. He eventually finished with the best figures for his side, collecting 3 for 32.

The fantasy
Cricket fans who thought their dreams had come true when two all-time batting greats strode to the crease together to begin Mumbai's innings, had another treat in store for them in sixth over. While Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting remained together, Kohli introduced the greatest spin bowler of all time into the attack. Tendulkar had the best of the battle, hitting two consecutive fours in the first over from Muttiah Muralitharan - one down the ground, and another over mid-on.

The double-strike
After Dan Christian's disastrous 17th over, which leaked 24 runs, Mumbai edged ahead and arrived at the final over needing 10 to win. Two length balls from Vinay Kumar dislodged both set batsmen, however, and put the game right back in Royal Challengers' hands. Dinesh Karthik first attempted to heave Kumar's second ball into the leg-side stands, but managed only a top edge that settled in the hands of the deep midwicket fielder. Kieron Pollard then came to the crease, but because the batsmen had crossed, Ambati Rayudu faced the next ball, and was cleaned up by a delivery that ducked back in sharply.

The near miss
When Pollard finally got the strike, he had to score 8 off the last two deliveries to take his side to victory. When he struck his first ball sweetly though, a couple more inches of distance on the shot, or a little more elevation, might have seen Mumbai finish the night much more happily than they did. The low full toss was hit hard back over the bowler's head, and bounced just before the boundary rope to eventually be ruled a four, by the third umpire.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • b4u8me2 on April 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Mumbai lost the match because like the WI they continue to bat Pollard too low. What use is Pollard to your team if you are only going to let him face two deliveries. Can you imagine Chris Gayle batting at no. 7 or 8 for RCB? A waste I tell you. A complete waste. Pollard is the most destructive batsman they got.Give him the opportunity to bat at least half the overs. If he can make 30 off 15 balls then if he gets the chance to bat 30 balls that is more runs for the team. I did not know that the Mumbai Indians would waste their most destructive batsman.

  • Nampally on April 4, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    I think there were 3 plays of the day & 3 wrong decisions. First play of the day was superb innings by Gayle- a single handed one. The second one was late heroics by Karthik where he smashed Christian for 24 runs to bring back MI within victory range. The third one was fantastic last over by Vinay which won the game. Three bad decisions- 1. Putting Pollard @#6 cost MI an easy victory. In my opinion Pollard should bat #4 after Karthik, Tendulkar & Ponting. Rohit must bat after Pollard so that he does not need to sacrifice his wkt. as it happened - playing a rank bad cross bat. 2. Rayudu should not have crossed over on Karthik's fly ball out. 3. Since Rayudu crossed over, a team player would get a single to give Pollard the strike to finish the game. These plays & bad decisions cost MI the victory. 157 on this pitch with strong MI batting was a winnable total. I give high marks to RCB for fighting it all the way to victory & playing as a team. MI need to take a lesson from this Loss.

  • sreejith0712 on April 5, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    @DauIsKing - I think Pollard has a pretty good chance of facing Sunil Narine, considering that KKR like to keep him for the last 5 overs and considering that MI like to keep Pollard for the last 3 overs :)

  • KingofSwag on April 5, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    I cant wait to see what happens when Tendulkar and Ponting get to face Sunil Narine. Pollard probably wont get the chance to face his West Indian Collegue

  • on April 5, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    If RCBs are that strong without AB,imagine how when he comes back.I would rate them as favourites this season.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    I would surely rate Dinesh Karthik better than Pollard. DK is so small but he hits towering sixes, whereas Pollard hits only in few matches out of whole IPL. DK's success rate is higher than Pollard.

  • AnilJaiswal on April 5, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    Mumbai Indian has some problem In their Mindset. They have new captain, New openers, new coach, new mentor but story was the same like past five years. they love to do wrong things. they love to loose their grip on the match. They don't know how to control oppositions as well as they don't know how to pace their inning. check their matches. they may be slowest in all teams in terms of runs in first ten overs. They always thinks, they can win the match in the last overs. check the records again May be they are the team who mostly loose or win in the last over. Why they love to Pollard, no one can solve this misty Why u give just one-two balls or one two overs to a player like Pollard? Is Rayadu or even Dinesh kartik are better r batsmen than pollard. Dinesh played good last night. But he is certainly not a first down batsman or pinch hitter. If mumbai wants to win future matches, They have to send pollard after 10 overs of the match whether its two wicket down or 5 wkt down.

  • warneneverchuck on April 5, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Murli is a good bowler but u cant compare him with warne who is greatest spinner with simple action

  • on April 5, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Tendulkar fist-pumping Ponting was a sight to behold for generations.

  • Rohit... on April 5, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    The judgement is :- Just let it be - Murali : Greatest Off-Spinner of all times.... Warne : Greatest Leg-spinner of all times ... All other charges dismissed.

  • b4u8me2 on April 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Mumbai lost the match because like the WI they continue to bat Pollard too low. What use is Pollard to your team if you are only going to let him face two deliveries. Can you imagine Chris Gayle batting at no. 7 or 8 for RCB? A waste I tell you. A complete waste. Pollard is the most destructive batsman they got.Give him the opportunity to bat at least half the overs. If he can make 30 off 15 balls then if he gets the chance to bat 30 balls that is more runs for the team. I did not know that the Mumbai Indians would waste their most destructive batsman.

  • Nampally on April 4, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    I think there were 3 plays of the day & 3 wrong decisions. First play of the day was superb innings by Gayle- a single handed one. The second one was late heroics by Karthik where he smashed Christian for 24 runs to bring back MI within victory range. The third one was fantastic last over by Vinay which won the game. Three bad decisions- 1. Putting Pollard @#6 cost MI an easy victory. In my opinion Pollard should bat #4 after Karthik, Tendulkar & Ponting. Rohit must bat after Pollard so that he does not need to sacrifice his wkt. as it happened - playing a rank bad cross bat. 2. Rayudu should not have crossed over on Karthik's fly ball out. 3. Since Rayudu crossed over, a team player would get a single to give Pollard the strike to finish the game. These plays & bad decisions cost MI the victory. 157 on this pitch with strong MI batting was a winnable total. I give high marks to RCB for fighting it all the way to victory & playing as a team. MI need to take a lesson from this Loss.

  • sreejith0712 on April 5, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    @DauIsKing - I think Pollard has a pretty good chance of facing Sunil Narine, considering that KKR like to keep him for the last 5 overs and considering that MI like to keep Pollard for the last 3 overs :)

  • KingofSwag on April 5, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    I cant wait to see what happens when Tendulkar and Ponting get to face Sunil Narine. Pollard probably wont get the chance to face his West Indian Collegue

  • on April 5, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    If RCBs are that strong without AB,imagine how when he comes back.I would rate them as favourites this season.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    I would surely rate Dinesh Karthik better than Pollard. DK is so small but he hits towering sixes, whereas Pollard hits only in few matches out of whole IPL. DK's success rate is higher than Pollard.

  • AnilJaiswal on April 5, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    Mumbai Indian has some problem In their Mindset. They have new captain, New openers, new coach, new mentor but story was the same like past five years. they love to do wrong things. they love to loose their grip on the match. They don't know how to control oppositions as well as they don't know how to pace their inning. check their matches. they may be slowest in all teams in terms of runs in first ten overs. They always thinks, they can win the match in the last overs. check the records again May be they are the team who mostly loose or win in the last over. Why they love to Pollard, no one can solve this misty Why u give just one-two balls or one two overs to a player like Pollard? Is Rayadu or even Dinesh kartik are better r batsmen than pollard. Dinesh played good last night. But he is certainly not a first down batsman or pinch hitter. If mumbai wants to win future matches, They have to send pollard after 10 overs of the match whether its two wicket down or 5 wkt down.

  • warneneverchuck on April 5, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Murli is a good bowler but u cant compare him with warne who is greatest spinner with simple action

  • on April 5, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Tendulkar fist-pumping Ponting was a sight to behold for generations.

  • Rohit... on April 5, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    The judgement is :- Just let it be - Murali : Greatest Off-Spinner of all times.... Warne : Greatest Leg-spinner of all times ... All other charges dismissed.

  • PTtheAxis on April 5, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    like i said beforehand ponting scored at less than run a ball ... perfect for 20-20 circket lol ... great buys/decsions from mumbai/ambani/kumble ... to top it off he is the captain as well

  • on April 5, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    ya I really like mi but they played bad because of ricky he scored only 28 of 33 bawlls

  • on April 5, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    And to think I am there to watch the three legends battle it out, will remain in my memory forever!!!

  • EverybodylovesSachin on April 5, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    Great to see two legends batting together....I saved this picture and this will be a good memory in years to come.

  • on April 5, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Pollard should have come in ahead of Ambati Rauydu - given the status of the game at the point, and the result might have been different.

  • mngc1 on April 5, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Sachin and Ponting opening might be a joy to watch but not in T20 when the average SR MUST be over 125 which only gives a score of 150. That is not enough to win most matches. All of last year I posted that Pollard was batting too low in the order so i expected Ponting to recognize this and make the change. He didn't and MI got the result they deserved.

  • nzcricket174 on April 5, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    "the greatest spin bowler of all time" - I'd be careful with those words...

  • Babu22 on April 5, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    I generally do not like the IPL. And follow it only now and then. However, the sight of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar walking together to bat has to be one of the greatest ever in cricket. I have saved the picture in my library.

  • vswami on April 5, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    In T20 its a mistake to have a batting number. Pollard should come in around the 10th-12th overs if there is a fall of wicket, even if its at no.3. No.3,4,5 are only for the scorecards.

  • tests_the_best on April 5, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I agree with some of the observations made in the comments here that it's bad strategy more than anything else that lost the game for MI. You can't be in a situation in a 20/20 game where you lose by 2 runs yet still have 5 wkts in hand (7 wkts in hand at the last over). It shows that the acceleration came too late. Rayudu's run a ball innings was probably the thing that lost the game. He should have hammered from the get-go with so many wkts in hand or Pollard should have batted ahead of him, which he should anyway. But MI is still a formidable outfit, I expect them to come out strongly in the remaining games.

  • Meety on April 5, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    "...Kohli introduced the greatest spin bowler of all time into the attack..." - not wanting to start an arguement, but couldn't Fernando have said ""...Kohli introduced ARGUABLY the greatest spin bowler of all time into the attack..." ???? All due respect to Murali, but it is NOT a GIVEN that he is the greatest spinner of all time. Great? - hell yes, Greatest? - well there are a heck of lot of other candidates, I'll leave it at that.

  • on April 4, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Agree that Pollard is wrongly placed. Hope Mumbai Indians learn fast. RCB were real fighters and never gave up.

  • on April 4, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    I agree with some of your points here. Yes Pollard definitely should bat higher in the order, But you cann't rely on Karthik at No.3(He will not score 50's in each match, more of a 1-2 guy). Ponting, Sachin, Rohit and depending on the situation Pollard or Rayudu should be coming in at 4. Rayudu crossing over should not be considered as wrong, as you never know whether the catch will be taken or not. If a bowler was in place of him sure he may try not to cross over.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on April 4, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    MI don't have the freedom to play as a team as there seems to be reservation kind of thing in their batting line-up. A spent force got to reserve the crucial opener's slot and consumes too many deliveries. Batting order should be on merit, not on reservations. Unfortunately, MI seems to take pride in reservation policy.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on April 4, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    MI don't have the freedom to play as a team as there seems to be reservation kind of thing in their batting line-up. A spent force got to reserve the crucial opener's slot and consumes too many deliveries. Batting order should be on merit, not on reservations. Unfortunately, MI seems to take pride in reservation policy.

  • on April 4, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    I agree with some of your points here. Yes Pollard definitely should bat higher in the order, But you cann't rely on Karthik at No.3(He will not score 50's in each match, more of a 1-2 guy). Ponting, Sachin, Rohit and depending on the situation Pollard or Rayudu should be coming in at 4. Rayudu crossing over should not be considered as wrong, as you never know whether the catch will be taken or not. If a bowler was in place of him sure he may try not to cross over.

  • on April 4, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Agree that Pollard is wrongly placed. Hope Mumbai Indians learn fast. RCB were real fighters and never gave up.

  • Meety on April 5, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    "...Kohli introduced the greatest spin bowler of all time into the attack..." - not wanting to start an arguement, but couldn't Fernando have said ""...Kohli introduced ARGUABLY the greatest spin bowler of all time into the attack..." ???? All due respect to Murali, but it is NOT a GIVEN that he is the greatest spinner of all time. Great? - hell yes, Greatest? - well there are a heck of lot of other candidates, I'll leave it at that.

  • tests_the_best on April 5, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I agree with some of the observations made in the comments here that it's bad strategy more than anything else that lost the game for MI. You can't be in a situation in a 20/20 game where you lose by 2 runs yet still have 5 wkts in hand (7 wkts in hand at the last over). It shows that the acceleration came too late. Rayudu's run a ball innings was probably the thing that lost the game. He should have hammered from the get-go with so many wkts in hand or Pollard should have batted ahead of him, which he should anyway. But MI is still a formidable outfit, I expect them to come out strongly in the remaining games.

  • vswami on April 5, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    In T20 its a mistake to have a batting number. Pollard should come in around the 10th-12th overs if there is a fall of wicket, even if its at no.3. No.3,4,5 are only for the scorecards.

  • Babu22 on April 5, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    I generally do not like the IPL. And follow it only now and then. However, the sight of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar walking together to bat has to be one of the greatest ever in cricket. I have saved the picture in my library.

  • nzcricket174 on April 5, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    "the greatest spin bowler of all time" - I'd be careful with those words...

  • mngc1 on April 5, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Sachin and Ponting opening might be a joy to watch but not in T20 when the average SR MUST be over 125 which only gives a score of 150. That is not enough to win most matches. All of last year I posted that Pollard was batting too low in the order so i expected Ponting to recognize this and make the change. He didn't and MI got the result they deserved.

  • on April 5, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Pollard should have come in ahead of Ambati Rauydu - given the status of the game at the point, and the result might have been different.