Srinath Sripath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Has Tim Southee solved Royal Challengers' death-bowling woes?
Not entirely on his own, but his addition to the Royal Challengers attack in Corey Anderson's stead has triggered something of a ripple effect. Anderson came into the tournament having bowled very little over the past year and leaked runs consistently, including a final over in which he couldn't defend 17 off six balls against MS Dhoni. In Southee, Virat Kohli now has an experienced specialist bowler to turn to at the death, where they have had the worst economy rate in the tournament so far.
It has also allowed Kohli to spread out the overs from his two best bowlers in the tournament, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, instead of bowling them out too early. Teams have tried to counter the Chahal effect by sending in left-hand batsmen to hit out against his wristspin, forcing Kohli to not finish his quota. On this night, though, with JP Duminy and Krunal Pandya at the crease, he kept things under control, not conceding a single six during his spell.
Umesh's early strikes and a tight 15th over left Mumbai needing 62 off 30 balls, the sort of equation that has been achieved comfortably against the Royal Challengers' attack this season. This time, Southee had two to spare, and his accurate lengths ended up costing just 9 off 11 at the death, sealing the game for RCB, rendering Ben Cutting's final-ball six inconsequential.
The gifts RCB keep on giving
Not often do you see a T20 side concede an average of 13 extras per innings for an extended period. Royal Challengers have now gifted an astounding 104 extras from eight games in IPL 2018, which is 42 more than anyone else. Against Mumbai, they conceded a total of 18 wides in a tally of 23 extras, and their sloppiness in the field extended to an overthrow that went all the way to the fine-leg boundary. Put together, these extras and overthrows were the joint-second-highest scorer in the Mumbai innings, a bizarre tally sticking out like a sore thumb in a game of fine margins.
How many full-tosses did the Mumbai batsmen miss?
It's not like RCB's bowlers did not give Mumbai's batsmen opportunities to score in the later stages of their innings. They bowled three juicy full-tosses at the death, off which Mumbai's batsmen could manage just four runs. Both the Pandya brothers and Cutting struggled to find their hitting range towards the end of a tight chase, and by the time Cutting found the boundary, it was too little, too late. It was part of a larger problem, on a night when none of the Mumbai batsmen could cut loose and clear the fence on a consistent basis, and nothing reflects this more than the usually-hard-hitting Pandya brothers' combined strike rate of 119.7. In the past few weeks, sides like Chennai Super Kings have been able to leave it late in steep chases against RCB, but this time, their bowlers came out on top, with some help from Mumbai's middle and lower order.
Double slowdown doesn't cost RCB
RCB's innings Manhattan sported an odd look: 66 runs came from just three overs - the 4th, 12th and 20th - while the other 17 got them 101. They were slow off the blocks, playing out five dot balls off JP Duminy's first over and scoring only 11 off the first three overs, before recovering to 43 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay. Later on, they had a 20-ball boundary drought in the middle overs, in which they managed just 15 runs, and only Mumbai's indiscipline in the final over lifted them to a flattering 167 for 7, thanks to 13 runs, effectively, off the final ball. For once, though, they managed to defend a total, ending a five-game losing streak while batting first at home.