Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016, Mumbai April 20, 2016

Krunal, Rohit reinvigorate Mumbai's campaign

Mumbai Indians 171 for 4 (Rohit 62, Pollard 40*, Abdulla 3-40) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 170 for 7 (Head 37, Kohli 33, Bumrah 3-31, Krunal Pandya 2-27) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rohit Sharma hit four fours and three sixes in his 44-ball 62 © BCCI

Rohit Sharma returned to a batting position that has brought him considerable success to thwart Royal Challengers Bangalore on a flat Wankhede deck, helping Mumbai Indians revive their campaign with a six-wicket win. Promoting himself to open, Rohit made a 44-ball 62 as Mumbai overhauled Royal Challengers' 170 for 7 with 12 balls to spare.

The manner in which he slid back to direct the ball with his wrists behind point, used his powerful forearms to flick, and danced down the track to pull the ball into the stands with minimum effort showed he was in fine touch. He took charge of the chase along with Ambati Rayudu, who was anything but elegant yet equally effective during his 31.

The second-wicket stand of 76 in 55 balls laid the platform for Mumbai's chase, before Iqbal Abdulla dismissed Rayudu and Rohit in quick succession, both to slogs. Mumbai were 109 for 3 then, needing 62 off seven overs - well on track as dew took effect. Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard, who replaced Martin Guptill, hit five sixes between them in a partnership of 31 off 2.4 overs. While Buttler was out for 28, Pollard remained unbeaten on 40 off 19 balls as Mumbai recorded their second win in five matches.

Halfway into the first innings, Mumbai, who opted to bowl, were staring at a 200-plus target as Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers feasted on some friendly bowling in a 59-run stand, before Krunal Pandya removed both in the same over.

Shane Watson fell soon after, but Travis Head, on IPL debut, and Sarfaraz Khan lifted Royal Challengers from 99 for 4 to 170 for 7.

Frenetic action filled the first 20 minutes of the game. KL Rahul - opening in place of Chris Gayle who was away on paternity leave - was put through a short-ball test by Mitchell McClenaghan, who hit him on the helmet with a bouncer that jagged into him off the pitch. After the early jitters, Rahul ramped and slapped his way to 23 before being caught at slip. Kohli and de Villiers then counterpunched before RCB lost three wickets in the space of 3.1 overs, while adding only eight runs to their score.

Head took his time to settle in, the nervousness showing as he pushed and prodded his way through nine balls before swatting Hardik Pandya for six over deep square leg in the 15th over. Sarfaraz showed there is more to his game than scoops and paddles as he milked the spinners, before clubbing two successive sixes off Jasprit Bumrah in the final over.

Mumbai lost Parthiv Patel in the second over of the chase, but Varun Aaron's third over, which went for 19, brought them back on track. Once Royal Challengers' uncapped Indian bowlers were summoned, a game that was marginally tilted in Mumbai's favour turned decisively their way. Abdulla's wickets injected a touch of excitement, but Pollard and Buttler snuffed out any possibility of a close finish.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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