Pandya blitz deepens Challengers' IPL misery

By Sports Desk April 15, 2019

Mumbai Indians consigned Indian Premier League strugglers Royal Challengers Bangalore to a five-wicket defeat thanks to Hardik Pandya's late cameo at Wankhede Stadium.

The Challengers had picked up their first win of the 2019 season at the seventh attempt last time out but fell to another demoralising loss on Monday as the hosts overhauled their 171-7 with an over to spare.

It looked like being a tight finish as the Indians needed 22 off the last 12 balls, but Pandya (37 not out off 16) struck Pawan Negi for two fours and two sixes to get his side over the line.

Moeen Ali starred in a losing cause for RCB, making 50 off 32 in a partnership worth 95 with AB de Villiers (75 from 51) before returning 2-18 to give his team hope that was ultimately quashed by Pandya's blitz.

 

MOEEN FINDS FORM AT LAST ALONGSIDE DESTRUCTIVE DE VILLIERS

England all-rounder Moeen's previous top score in this IPL had been 32 but he looked in good touch, thumping five sixes in his 31-ball fifty.

Two of those came in one over from Jason Behrendorff, whose four overs cost 49 on the day he was included in Australia's World Cup squad.

Parthiv Patel had earlier taken the seamer for three fours and a maximum in the fifth, and De Villiers' fourth half-century of the tournament – featuring six fours and four sixes – boosted RCB's total.

 

MALINGA MAGIC PRECEDES OPENING ONSLAUGHT

The Challengers' progress was checked slightly as Lasith Malinga (4-31) picked up his four wickets in overs 18 and 20, before Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma went on the offensive for Mumbai.

The pair cleared the ropes four times between them in a seven-over stand worth 70, before Moeen dismissed them both in the space of four balls.

Rohit was cleaned up having made 28 off 19 and De Kock was trapped in front after a typically brisk 26-ball 40.

 

PANDYA PUNISHES NEGI

The game remained firmly in the balance heading into the penultimate over, where Pandya took control.

Negi's second ball disappeared over long-on and the next two were also smashed to the ropes before the fifth delivery was slog-swept over the leg-side for another maximum.

Mumbai's equation was reduced to two required off seven and the game was done, leaving RCB rooted to the foot of the table.

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