A three-wicket haul from Jasprit Bumrah and a man-of-the-match innings from Suryakumar Yadav kept defending champions Mumbai Indians in the hunt for top spot as they sealed a 5-wicket over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday.
RCB seemed to have cornered the four-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions early in both innings, with the Mumbai outfit clawing their way back into the lead with supreme game-management.
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Mumbai lost their wickets in clusters as RCB applied pressure early in their defence of the modest 164-run total, with openers Ishan Kishan (25 from 19) and Quinton de Kock (18 from 19) falling to Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj in the sixth and eighth over respectively.
Saurabh Tiwary (5 from 8) and Krunal Pandya (10 from 10) also did not stay in the middle for long, with the onus on Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya to see Mumbai home.
And Suryakumar, who brought up his third half-century this season, held his nerve to do exactly that, sealing the win with a boundary off the first ball of the 20th over.
Earlier, having been put to bat first by stand-in Mumbai skipper Kieron Pollard, Devdutt Padikkal (74 from 45) and Josh Philippe (33 from 24) got off to flying starts, scoring 54 runs in the power play overs.
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Emerging player of the season Rahul Chahar got the first breakthrough, as Philippe was stumped following sharp work by Quinton de Kock behind the wickets.
Bumrah then reached the 100 IPL wickets milestone with a well-directed bouncer at RCB skipper Virat Kohli (9 from 14), who incidentally was also his first IPL scalp back in 2013.
He then dismissed Padikkal and Shivam Dube after Kieron Pollard accounted for AB de Villiers’ dismissal, finishing with figures of 3-14 in four overs.
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The win cements Mumbai’s position at the top of the tree with 16 points from 12 games and a considerably better net run rate than the chasing pack.
Favourites to finish in one of the Qualifier 1 spots, Mumbai are well placed to become only the second side ever to successfully defend the title and left an unprecedented fifth crown.