Welcome to another edition of Throwback Thursday, where we look at the second match of the 2013 edition of IPL between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, which saw Vinay Kumar win the match for RCB. Chris Gayle’s 92 in this match helped RCB post a decent score of 156 for 7 on the board.
It’s 4th April 2013, and the stage is set for the battle between two of the biggest brands in IPL. Chasing a target of 157, Mumbai are 153 for 5 in the penultimate delivery of the game with Kieron Pollard, needing just 4 runs off 1 ball, on strike against Vinay Kumar, who gave away just five runs and picked up two wickets in the build-up. There is absolute silence in the whole stadium as both the sets of fans of praying for their team to win in this nail-biting finish. However, before we disclose the climax, let's look at the series of events that ensued such a finish.
It is still a relatively weak RCB squad trying to find their footing in the cash-rich league after failing for multiple years, while on the other hand, Mumbai Indians, not having won any title until now, are coming on the back of giving the leadership duties to Ricky Ponting, expecting a turn around in their IPL run. On paper, the Mumbai team looks like one of the teams in the world with Ponting captaining Sachin Tendulkar, Mitchell Johnson, and Harbhajan Singh. Mumbai also picked up a young pace bowler, who is relatively unknown, named Jasprit Bumrah, looking to catch RCB by surprise. Mumbai not picking million dollar baby Glenn Maxwell did raise quite a few eyebrows, having become the most expensive bench warmer. On RCB’s side, Virat Kohli is at the helm, marshalling Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Chris Gayle, enough of experience right there!
Munaf Patel and Johnson start the proceeding for Mumbai as Gayle and Dilshan look to get their eye in, but in the third over, Dilshan was castled by Johnson leaving RCB at 3/1. Coming in next, Kohli started off his innings with a four, and a six in the subsequent over, looking in prime touch. After the 4th over, Ponting hands the ball to the rookie Bumrah, what a moment for the youngster, making his debut at the grand stage. Not a dream start for him as he gets hit for 3 fours in 4 deliveries by Kohli. The pressure is on Bumrah to make a comeback and comeback it is. Bumrah STRIKES gets his first wicket in his first over as he hits Kohli on the pad right in front of the stumps. The skipper walks back to the dressing room in disbelief. WAIT A MINUTE!! The rookie strikes again his next over. Mayank Agarwal miscues his lofted shot straight to Sachin at mid-off. The rookie seems to be on a role.
Gayle and Daniel Christian try to rebuild the innings after a horrific start and were quite good at it as they took the score to 74/3 at the end of 11 overs. Just when we thought the big hits were on their way as Gayle was playing uncharacteristic run-a-ball innings, Harbhajan dismisses Christian. Though wickets keep falling, Gayle is firm at the other end, standing and smashing bowlers all over the park, helping RCB reach a decent score. GEEZ!! This could be one of the best innings Gayle has ever played as he walks back to pavilion on 92 not out, taking the total to 156/5. This was not a typical ‘Gayle storm’ but will surely be counted as a T20 master-class. On the other hand, Bumrah is the revelation for Mumbai as he ends with the bowling figure of 3 for 32 on his debut.
Chasing a target of 157, ‘dream pair’ Tendulkar and Ponting open the innings for Mumbai and give them a rather muted start as MI is 38 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. However, the dream pair couldn’t last long as the Mumbai based franchise was 62/2 at the end of 10 overs with Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik on the crease. Karthik is timing the ball extremely well, making the ball glide over the boundary ropes. What an innings this is turning out to be!! Without getting jaded by the dismissal of Rohit, the Tamil Nadu man hits three back to back sixes to Christian and then, a six to Muralitharan in the next over, taking the equation to 17 runs off 2 overs. Jaydev Unadkat, bowls a good penultimate good, giving away just 7 runs and reducing the equation to 10 runs off the last over, which brings back RCB slightly into the contest.
Mumbai is the favorite at the moment to win the match as they have Dinesh Karthik playing at 60 and Ambati Rayudu, who is familiar with such close finishes. Vinay Kumar is handed the ball by Kohli to defend 10 runs. Rayudu misses the first delivery from Rayudu, but they manage to sneak in a single from the hands of Arun Karthik. WHAT A TWIST!! Vinay comes back. He bowls a length ball that Karthik edges straight up in the sky, ending his fighting stay at the crease. Dinesh receives a standing ovation as he walks back to the dugout but the match isn't done yet, surely! Rayudu is on strike for the next ball as he crossed over. ANOTHER WICKET!! Vinay crashes the stumps of Rayudu as he looked to cut an incoming delivery. And suddenly, the tide has changed. RCB look set in the driving seat but wait, Pollard is still in the contest!
With 9 needed off 3 balls, Harbhajan Singh gives the strike to the ‘big-man’ Kieron Pollard. WHAT A SHOT!! Pollard didn’t disappoint as he smashes Vinay over his head for a four. We are in for a nail-biting finish. 4 runs needed off the last delivery with Pollard on strike seems like a very much an achievable thing. Both the teams would want to start their campaign with a win. However, all that differentiates both sides at this point in time is four runs. Pollard would love to add another terrific T20 finish to his resume, while Vinay would love to be part of an enthralling win. Win or lose, this is a perfect advertisement for the brand IPL. This is it.
Welcome to a moment in history.