RCB out of IPL play-off contention after defeat to Mumbai

first_imgMUMBAI Indians pulled off a well-timed chase to move back to the top of the IPL points table and eliminate Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from play-off contention.RCB were finally put out of their misery as a five-wicket defeat to Mumbai Indians ended their play-off hopes in the Indian Premier League.Mumbai chased down 163 with a ball to spare at the Wankhede Stadium, thanks chiefly to Rohit Sharma’s impressive 56 not out – AB de Villiers (43) having top-scored in RCB’s 162-8 after the visitors won the toss and opted to bat.Having moved back to the top of the table, Mumbai are eight points clear of the fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab with four games to play and look a shoo-in for their seventh trip to the play-offs.Virat Kohli, however, will go back to the drawing board after an eighth defeat of the season that has seen his Bangalore side twice dismissed for less than 100 – including an IPL-record low 49 all out.Things looked ominous for RCB when Kohli (20) picked out Rohit at midwicket off Mitchell McClenaghan to leave them 40-2 yesterday, but Travis Head (12 off 15) played a neat supporting role as de Villiers teed off to spark hopes of a repeat of his mesmeric 133 not out on this ground in 2015.After hitting three fours and as many sixes, the South Africa international perished when he top-edged Krunal Pandya to fine-leg, but Pawan Negi (35) and Kedar Jadhav (28) steadied the ship and RCB may have been happy to just offer something defendable.They could not have asked for a better start to the second dig, as Parthiv Patel fell first ball, but Jos Buttler (33) and Nitish Rana (27) quickly got Mumbai back up to the required rate.Replays showed that Buttler had been fortunate on 17 when he gloved a bouncer through to the keeper, but appeals were not forthcoming and the umpires did not spot it.The England international’s luck was out when he half-heartedly chipped to extra cover, but that brought Rohit to the crease and he swiftly got into his rhythm.Negi (2-17) bowled brilliantly to keep RCB in the game, and Shane Watson’s typically economical efforts in the 17th over left Mumbai needing 30 from their last 18 balls.Hardik Pandya (14 not out) tilted the momentum Mumbai’s way, blasting the last ball of the 18th over for six before he and Rohit took it to the last to seal victory and move back to the top of the pile.last_img

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