Mumbai Win Bad-Tempered Clash
Mumbai Indians 187-5 (Sharma 59no) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 168-8 by 19 runs
Indian Premier League 2014, Mumbai
The Mumbai Indians made it 10 wins in a row at the Wankhede Stadium as they beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 19 runs in an ill-tempered Indian Premier League 2014 clash.
An ugly confrontation between Bangalore's Mitchell Starc and Mumbai's Kieron Pollard was a major talking point but Pollard had the last laugh as his side prevailed.
The West Indian made 43 in 31 balls and Rohit Sharma 59 not out in 35 as Mumbai posted a score of 187 for five.
Despite the best efforts of Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli and Rilee Rossouw, Bangalore closed well short on 168 for eight.
The incident that almost stole the show occurred at the end of the 18th over, beginning when Starc bowled a bouncer at Pollard and followed it up with some choice words.
The batsman waved Starc away and then pulled away to the leg-side before Starc delivered the next ball. However, the left-arm quick delivered anyway, following him with the ball.
Pollard was not amused and hurled his bat in the direction of Starc, although he appeared to think better of his reaction at the last moment, which fortunately for all concerned, resulted in the bat hitting the ground behind him instead of heading towards the Australian.
More words followed between Pollard, Starc and Bangalore captain Kohli before the match resumed but if any team was lifted by the hiatus, it was Mumbai, and the quick runs they were able to add subsequently proved pivotal.
After Ben Dunk (15), Chidhambaram Gautam (30), Ambati Rayudu (9) and Corey Anderson (6) had fallen to leave them 84 for four, Sharma and Pollard came together and either side of the contretemps put on a superb partnership of 97 for the fifth wicket.
Sharma struck three fours and four sixes and Pollard belted six fours before he was run out - giving up his wicket after Sharma tried to pinch a single to Harshal Patel.
Harshal, Ashok Dinda and Varun Aaron took a wicket apiece for Bangalore but the latter pair were expensive and unable to deal with the free-scoring Sharma and Pollard at the death.
Bangalore then got off to a flyer, thanks to Gayle's 38 in 24 balls and Parthiv's 26 in 19. Gayle boomed three huge sixes and showed some of his best form until he was bowled trying to sweep Harbhajan Singh.
Parthiv had already also been bowled by the experienced off-spinner but the key wicket came when Jasprit Bumrah took out AB de Villiers' leg stump as he went for one of his customary flicks over fine leg.
He had made six but all hope was not completely lost for RCB as they still had Kohli, Yuvraj Singh (6) and Rossouw to come.
However, Kohli gave his wicket away just five balls later, well caught in the deep by Anderson off Pawan Suyal, who had taken a hammering at the hands of Gayle earlier, and at 119 for four in the 14th over, the game was all but over.
The unconvincing Yuvraj was brilliantly run out by Pollard, who kicked the ball onto the stumps from close range after Rossouw had failed to deal with a short delivery.
Lasith Malinga came in and took late wickets, returning two for 29 by dismissing Rossouw and Starc, who was predictably caught by Pollard and there was another wicket for Bumrah, who bowled Harshal Patel for six.
Aaron (7 not out) and Dinda (2 not out) had no chance of making 27 to win in the final over, which Pollard - at the centre of most of the drama throughout the game - delivered.
Suyal recovered to finish with one for 35, Bumrah was excellent in taking two for 22 and Harbhajan returned two for 33.
The win leaves Mumbai in sixth place, making progress after losing all five of their matches in the UAE while Bangalore are in fourth, four points adrift of the three teams ahead of them and just two ahead of Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi.
Small wonder tensions are running high as the tournament heads into a critical phase with teams jostling to make it into the play-offs.
© Cricket World 2014