Gayle and Vettori sink Mumbai Indians

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Gayle and Vettori sink Mumbai IndiansMay 27 (The Hindu) Chennai: First, the explosive Chris Gayle delivered the big hits. Then, the crafty Daniel Vettori operated with control and guile to provide Royal Challengers Bangalore an emphatic 43-run win over Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier of the Indian Premier League IV at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday night.

Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to field boomeranged. There was greater spin for the bowlers in the second half of the contest.

Pursuing a daunting 186, Mumbai Indians finished at a tame 142 for eight. The chasing side was outplayed.

RCB will meet holder Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash on Saturday. The face-off has immense possibilities.

Predatory

Vettori’s men were predatory on the field against the side from Mumbai. RCB combined as a mean pack, created the pressure and seized the opportunities.

And the side struck early when aggressive left-hander Aiden Blizzard was held at long-on off efficient left-arm paceman S. Aravind. Pinch-hitter Harbhajan Singh too was prised out by Aravind soon after.

Sachin Tendulkar, though, was stroking with grace and timing. The gaps were found with precision.

In a game and format where one can expect the unexpected, unsung left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad got a quicker delivery to turn sharply past Tendulkar and ‘keeper Abraham de Villiers whipped off the bails. The maestro had been stumped.

Mumbai Indians lost ground rapidly with RCB skipper Vettori operating in a manner that was classical. The accomplished left-arm spinner deceived and consumed Rohit Sharma with his flight and loop. In the same over, Vettori got one to fatally drift into Ambatti Rayudu.

And when the big-hitting Kieron Pollard was spectacularly held by Abhimanyu Mithun at long-off — the fielder did extremely well to retain balance so close to the ropes — off Vettori, the game was going to end only one way.

RCB closed out the match in clinical fashion.

High-octane

Earlier, Man-of-the-Match Gayle was high on octane and low on sympathy for the bowlers. The left-hander is making all the right moves these days.

The ease with which he wades into the bowling is stunning. He picks the length early, creates room with subtle footwork and simply strikes through the line.

Gayle imparts so much power that even in the event of the ball not being timed to his liking, it still soars over the fence for the maximum.

Importantly, Gayle’s batting is bereft of exaggerated movements. The feature of his rousing 47-ball 89 (9×4, 5×6) was the manner in which he essayed booming inside-out strokes on the off-side.

His easy, natural back-swing too is a thing of beauty and Gayle’s sixes over the sight-screen took one’s breath away. While he sought to get on to the front-foot, the manner in which he shifted his weight to the back-leg for those destructive pull shots reflected his flexibility.

Lasith Malinga fired in a yorker and Gayle swatted him to the fence. In the face-off between two game-changers, the West Indian found the right answers.

Mayank Agarwal (41 off 31 balls) played his role well in an imposing 113-run opening partnership in 10.4 overs.

Gayle and Agarwal also combined cleverly as a pair. It was Agarwal who took strike during much of Harbhajan’s first two overs with the new ball —the Mumbai Indians wanted the off-spinner to operate more to the left-handed Gayle.

Agarwal whipped out a few vibrant strokes himself; none more than a straight six off Harbhajan after he danced down the track to convert the length.

Ordinary

The Mumbai Indians’ catching was ordinary and Agarwal was put down twice; the first miss by Malinga at deep square-leg when the batsman was on 19 proved costly. Harbhajan was the bowler to suffer.

Gayle eventually fell to Munaf Patel —he was picked up at long on. But by then, the West Indian had inflicted considerable damage.

The side from Mumbai fought back. The young Abu Nechim — the paceman went for 27 runs in the opening over of the match — took out Virat Kohli on the pull.

But then, the nimble-footed Abraham de Villiers conjured a cameo in the end overs and Mumbai Indians had a mountain to climb.

And the side slipped.

Scorecard

Royal Challengers Bangalore: M. Agarwal c Rohit b Pollard 41 (31b, 4×4, 2×6), C. Gayle c Franklin b Patel 89 (47b, 9×4, 5×6), V. Kohli b Nechim 8 (12b), A.B. de Villiers (not out) 21, (15b, 1×6), L. Pomersbach c Malinga b Patel 4 (4b), S. Tiwary (not out) 8 (12b), Extras (w-13, nb-1): 14; Total (for four wkts. In 20 overs): 185.

Fall of wickets: 1-113, 2-148, 3-151, 4-157.

Mumbai Indians bowling: Abu Nechim 4-0-56-1, Harbhajan 4-0-40-0, Malinga 4-0-24-0, Munaf 4-0-27-2, Rohit 1-0-14-0, Pollard 3-0-24-1.

Mumbai Indians: A. Blizzard c Agarwal b Aravind 10 (11b, 2×4), S. Tendulkar st. de Villiers b Syed Mohammed 40 (24b, 7×4), Harbhajan Singh c Pomersbach b Aravind 13 (7b, 1×4, 1×6), Rohit Sharma c Pomersbach b Vettori 13 (15b, 1×4), J. Franklin b Khan 16 (17b, 1×6), A. Rayudu lbw b Vettori 0 (1b), K. Pollard c Mithun b Vettori 3 (6b), R. Sathish (not out) 18 (21b, 1×4), L. Malinga c Pomersbach b Syed Mohammed 7 (5b, 1×6), Abu Nechim (not out) 18 (13b, 1×4, 1×6), Extras (lb-2, w-2): 4; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 142.

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-41, 3-68, 4-82, 5-83, 6-89, 7-99, 8-110.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Khan 4-0-32-1, Aravind 3-0-27-2, Gayle 3-0-11-0, Mithun 2-0-26-0, Vettori 4-0-19-3, Syed Mohammed 4-0-25-2.

Posted by on Saturday, May 28th, 2011. Filed under Chennai, Cities, Cricket, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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