IPL 2020: SKY's the limit for Mumbai Indians

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on October 28, 2020
Surya Kumar Yadav of the Mumbai Indians plays a shot against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night. — BCCI/IPL

Snubbed by Indian selectors for Australian tour, Suryakumar Yadav scores third fifty to shepherd Mumbai home against RCB

Moments after biffing pacer Mohammed Siraj over extra cover for a boundary to bring up the winning runs, Suryakumar Yadav took off his helmet and cooly and calmly gestured with his hands towards the Mumbai Indians section at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

A massive fan of Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Bollywood, Yadav imitated the superstar from one of his movies ‘Main Hoon Na’ (I am there, don’t you worry).

It was a top of the table contest between first and second — Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore — and it had more than a bit of needle to it.

There was a lot more stake, not least, the jostle to be at the top of the perch. There was an interesting subplot too, that of Yadav being snubbed by the Indian selectors for the Australian tour, despite having not put a foot wrong.

And there couldn’t have been a better riposte as he almost single-handedly shepherded the defending champions home with five wickets to spare on Wednesday night.

Yadav, nicknamed ‘SKY’ by his MI mates also because of his fielding at point, coshed an unbeaten 79 from 43 deliveries, smoking 10 boundaries and three sixes. In the process, the four-time champions went clear at the top with 16 points to put one foot into the play-offs.

More than anything, his 10th IPL fifty and his third of the season was a fitting response to the selectors who had overlooked him for the tour Down Under.

And coming as it did in front of the Indian captain Virat Kohli, who was in the opposition ranks, it couldn’t have felt any sweeter for Yadav, who with 335 runs, is the leading run-getter in the UAE capital so far.

"I was looking to finish games for a long time,” Man of the Match Yadav said at the post-match presentation.

“I worked on my game a lot during the lockdown. I have been loving the No. 3 position and I am glad with this effort,” he added.

Earlier, young opener Devdutt Padikkal again came up with another breezy knock but Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah struck telling blows to keep the Royal Challengers Bangalore down to a low score.

The 20-year-old Padikkal fired his way to his fourth half-century this season but the Mumbai Indians hit back after a solid start by the Royal Challengers Bangalore to restrict them to 164-6.

Padikkal conjured an enterprising 74 from 45 deliveries that was studded with 12 boundaries and a six, to become the third uncapped player to make four 50 plus scores in their debut season.

The previous two were Shikhar Dhawan while playing for the Delhi Daredevils in 2008 and Shreyas Iyer, also for the Delhi Daredevils in 2015.

Padikkal and Josh Philippe, who replaced fellow Australian Aaron Finch, had given the Royal Challengers Bangalore a blistering start after they had been told to bat by Mumbai Indians stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard.

They were quick off the blocks and had raced away by blunting the Mumbai Indians bowling attack. With such a start, a total of 200 or thereabouts had looked likely but the Mumbai Indians pulled things back.

Bumrah returned with three scalps, those of opposition captain Kohli, Shivam Dube and Padikkal to dent the Royal Challengers Bangalore, as he went past 100 IPL wickets. Ironically, Bumrah’s first IPL wicket and 100th happened to be Kohli.

Philippe made a 24-ball 33 which had four fours and a six.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore punt to go in with Philippe to partner Padikkal worked with the pair attacking the Mumbai Indians bowling from the get go. It was the first time that RCB had made a tweak at the top this season and Padikkal and Philippe threw caution to the winds.

They negated Bumrah, left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson and Trent Boult with ease.

The Mumbai Indians attack, which had taken 22 wickets, the most in the powerplay this season, went wicketless this time as the young duo held fort to garner 54 in the six overs. Incidentally, this was the second instance MI had gone wicketless in the powerplay, the first also being against RCB in Dubai. On that occasion, they had leaked 59 runs.

Mumbai Indians finally made the inroad with Philippe stumped by Quinton de Kock after having his foot in the air, off the bowling of leg spinner Rahul Chahar. The pair had added 71 for the opening wicket.

Padikkal was involved in two partnerships with Kohli and AB de Villiers which churned out 24 and 36 runs for the second and the third wickets respectively. But the Mumbai Indians found their footing after removing Kohli and ABD.

RCB were tied down and managed to get 35 runs from the last four overs.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 164-6 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 74, Josh Philippe 33, AB de Villiers 15, Gurukeerat Singh 14 not out, Washington Sundar 10 not out, Jasprit Bumrah 3-14) lost to Mumbai Indians: 166-5 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 79 not out, Ishan Kishan 25, Quinton de Kock 18, Hardik Pandya 17, Mohammed Siraj 2-28, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-37) by 5 wickets.


Royal Challengers Bangalore: Josh Philippe (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Dale Steyn, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Mumbai Indians: Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard (C), Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.

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