Mr. 360 AB de Villiers
Mr. 360 AB de Villiers

It was another display of high-quality batting in the IPL as Royal Challengers Bangalore post 201/3 runs against Mumbai Indians, which is more than a challenging score considering the Dubai wicket.

Let us look at the key points from the first innings of the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.

RCB’s opening stand

Opening batsman Aaron Finch got off to a flying start with young Devdutt Padikkal playing a second fiddle in the 81-run partnership. The pair scored 59 runs in the first six overs but RCB found themselves in a spot once the partnership was broken in the ninth over.

Kohli’s poor form continues

From being at 81 in 9 overs, RCB slipped to 91 for 1 in 12 overs. Virat Kohli’s poor form was once again exploited by Mumbai spinners, particularly when Krunal Pandya varied his pace cleverly, shifted their lines wider, denying access to the shorter boundary. The pressure on Kohli kept mounting and he spooned a little legbreak from Rahul Chahar straight to extra cover for 3 off 11 balls. At the other end, Padikkal, too, wasn’t able to find a higher gear before AB de Villiers arrived.

Virat Kohli vs leg spinners in the IPL
2013 - 2017 : Average - 86.4, Scoring Rate - 9.97rpo. 2018 - 2020 : Average - 39.7, Scoring Rate - 7.47rpo - Courtesy Cricviz

Mr. 360 turns the game around

It seemed Mumbai Indians had crawled their way back into the match with some good tight bowling. Once the spinners had applied the brake, it appeared RCB would be more than happy to settle for 170, a par score on this ground. But AB de Villiers' arrival in the middle changed the complete scenario. Padikkal too took charge after some quiet overs in the middle and decided to up the ante. He got to his second IPL fifty and then fell against the run of play to Trent Boult.

Solid finish

Outstanding hitting from AB de Villers and Shivam Dube at the end propelled RCB to a score which seemed unthinkable at one stage. The duo managed to put on 78 runs in the last 5 overs to register 201/3 on the board – A tall ask even for a team with the likes of Rohit Sharma, de Kock, Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Mumbai Indians will need a solid platform if they are to chase down this mammoth target.

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