Mumbai v Bangalore, IPL 2010, Mumbai March 20, 2010

Vinay, Steyn set up comprehensive win


Royal Challengers Bangalore 155 for 3 (Kallis 66*, Pandey 40) beat Mumbai Indians 151 for 9 (Vinay 3-25, Steyn 3-26) by seven wickets
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

R Vinay Kumar removed Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu in one over to turn what had been a cat-and-mouse game until then, unmistakably Royal Challengers' way, also taking them to the top of the table. He benefited in part from the pressure created by his team-mates' smart swing bowling, changes of pace, bouncers to Indian batsmen, and aggressive spin bowling by Anil Kumble. It was a fitting reversal of roles for a man used to being among the top wicket-takers in Indian domestic cricket, and then watching others steal the spotlight - not the least when his state-mate Abhimanyu Mithun made his international debut ahead of him after just one season of impressive numbers.

There was no role reversal for Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey, though, who added 50-plus for the first wicket for the third time in a row to scythe through the target without breaking a sweat. Kallis tightened the orange cap around his head, taking his tournament tally to 264 undefeated runs, but Pandey missed a fifty after a good start for the third time in a row.

The Bangalore openers will be the first ones to concede that the night belonged to their bowlers. Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn laid the foundation by controlling the rampaging batting line-up that had scored 200-plus in both their previous matches. Praveen, with his swing either side in his first over, sent the message that scoring wouldn't be that easy against this attack, and Steyn in his first removed Sanath Jayasuriya with a quick outswinger.

Then Bangalore resorted to the nasty plan that has worked effectively for them so far: bounce the Indian batsmen out. Aditya Tare square-cut a short delivery from Jacques Kallis immediately before lobbing a sharp bouncer. Saurabh Tiwary - two fifties in two innings before this - managed to muscle a few bouncers away, but never looked in control. Anil Kumble then got him with a loopy googly in the man-versus-boy contest. Vinay followed the bouncer theme, and got Rayudu at the start of that definitive over.

While Bangalore had toyed around with other batsmen until then, at the other end Tendulkar was batting in a sphere of his own. He played the flick shot at will, and manipulated the on-side field, but in nine overs he had faced only 21 deliveries. The 22nd that he faced, he tried to flick again, moved too far across and exposed the leg stump. If this was a slightly lucky wicket for Vinay, there was no luck involved in the pin-point offcutter that removed Bravo two balls later. In 10 balls Mumbai had gone from 71 for 2 to 76 for 6, in 11 overs.

R Sathish and Kieron Pollard had to be circumspect for the next few overs, to make sure they lasted the 20 overs. After a five-over wait, Pollard opened up, hitting Praveen for a six and a four in the 17th over, taking Mumbai to 123. In the 18th, though, Steyn hurt them further. If Pollard was a touch unfortunate in hitting a full toss straight to deep point, the sharp bouncer was too good for Sathish. The running, tumbling catch that Rahul Dravid took at midwicket capped a night of near-perfect fielding.

Praveen, though, provided a blemish on a night of near-perfect bowling, giving Zaheer Khan length balls, which he hit for a six and two fours to take 16 off the last over, but 151 was still going to be hard to defend at a ground that hosted 212 v 208 last weekend.

Not with predictable bowling at any rate. Both Bangalore openers started off cautiously in the first overs from Zaheer and Lasith Malinga. Certain that there was nothing on offer that they couldn't handle, both of them attacked their second overs. It all went to an expected rhythm when Bravo and Pollard inside the Powerplay, as opposed to Harbhajan Singh. Their slower balls failed to surprise the batsmen, and their regulation pace was cannon fodder. By the end of Powerplay, Bangalore had reached 55. Pandey was 24, and Kallis, on 29, had already set his sights on another asterisk against his score.

Thereafter it was just a stroll in the park for Bangalore, made breezier by some lusty hitting from Robin Uthappa and Virat Kohli.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Most probably RCB will be winners of IPL2010

  • Sathish on March 21, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    The way RCB is playing cricket can be explained in just two words SMART and INTELLIGENT !! Go RCB go RCB Btb, Sidharth Monga correct it please it should be RCB on Match Meter and not RBC

  • Kaarthik on March 21, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    all you Rcb fans listen this mumbai team is really going to bounce back from this defeat.and kallis is going to get out nextmatch.

  • Ayan on March 21, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    RCB is certainly the best! hope dravid bats a little more but more than happy with JK's batting and RCB's winning spree! Hope KP is not introduced in d team bcause of him d team will get haywire!

  • Krupesh on March 21, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    One thing to note about the RCB players is that even the Indian players are contributing to the teams cause.Till now only the foreign players were the main contributors for the teams win in IPL matches this season but that has changed for the RCB.All the Indian players be it Manish , Uthappa , Kohli,Vinay or Praveen , all are contributing.Do I need to name Kumble here?He has proved himself in the international arena.The wall Dravid is a complete team man & they have Eain Morgan & Boucher who still have to be tested.With the likes of Ross Taylor , Kevin Peitersen & Cameron White yet to join the team , RCB looks a formidable side.I have left the star performers , the 2 South Africans Kallis & Steyn as there is no need to write about them.

  • P Subramani on March 21, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Bangalore Royal Challengers were always an outstanding bunch of cricketers from all over the world. Which is why their performance in IPL 1, caused so many surprises. And laughs for many who sought to deride their owner's judgement. I believe it was their luck more than anything else that they were left with the wooden spoon then. IPL2 showed everyone what they were capable of and this time they are indeed seeming to go one better on that as well. The thing is that the have a team of great Indian and international players with a tremendous bench strength.They have in Kumble a tough and wily captain as well. Their strategy in bowling seems to be spot on and not just for Indian batsmen but many international ones as well.In batting they have a legend partnering a potential star at the top of the order. This team has everything really even in the absence of Ross Taylor and I believe they should go right to the top.

  • Johan on March 21, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Well done RCB! Kallis has shown the 'normal' cricket works in any form of the game, you do not need scoop shots and all that, he is like a good red wine, the older the better! Always good to see SA players perform on the international stage! Go the Proteas!

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Kudos to RCB for there superior performance till now. But there is a word of caurtion for them. There fighting abilities would be tested when Kallis get our early. Without him I think they may end up struggling.

  • satya raghavendra on March 21, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    only 3 matches and RCB already favourites ? it will be really interesting when the middle order is tested which is bound to happen in the later stages of the tournament. DD were considered to be the most balanced side and their performance hasnt been as expected. T20 is a funny format and things change far too fast and if RCB doesnt make alternate backup plans to the successful one they have right now it will only be a matter of time when the other teams get around their strategy.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    we all knew that RCB is now top contender for IPL.Now the real question arises , who will b shuffled with ross tyler ,k.p and white.Dis shuffling should b done without removing the balance in the team.Batting is rock solid with KALLIS, MANISH, UTTAPPA ,KOHLI AND last but not least THE WALL DRAVID.Anyhow RCB bowling department should improve bowling at slog overs.

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