After playing 6 matches, we finally have got to experience the first, truly thrilling Indian Premier League game of the 2019 season. The match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians ended in the most dramatic fashion as the former fell short of chasing the massive target of 187.
Riding on Ab de Villiers’ incredible 70 run stand and a good innings of 46 runs by skipper Virat Kohli (who completed 5,000 runs in IPL), the hosts were in the driver’s seat in the last over. They needed 16 runs with AB de Villiers still at the crease. The first ball was hit for a six by the Indian all-rounding prodigy Shivam Dube to reduce the deficit to 10 runs.
After a couple of singles, the game reached a stage where 7 runs had to be scored from the last ball. Although the ball was hit for only a single, the replays showed that Malinga had actually committed a no-ball offence. However, the game had been adjudged as finished and there was nothing that could be done, much to the dismay of the home fans.
- First things first – Something needs to be done about the kind of errors on the side of the umpires. Thursday’s match was a fitting example of how decisive such flawed calls can be. It most probably snatched the game from RCB’s hand.
- RCB’s Badly Need Stoinis – RCB has one of the thinnest lineups when it comes to home talent. Excluding Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel, the club lacks any other seasoned Indian player. Naturally, they have to rely upon their international all-rounders to perform. But what if the foreign stars fail? England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been struggling for form in the black and red jersey. His solitary over went for a massive 13 runs and Kohli deemed it fit to not give him more overs.
With the bat as well, he could manage to score the exact number of runs that he had conceded – 13 – before Rohit Sharma dismissed him with a run out. Not much help was received from fellow all-rounder Grandhomme as well. The bottom-line is – RC badly needs Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis along with if they are to make it to the Playoffs this season.
- Time to Replace Kieron Pollard? – Kieron Pollard has been a loyal servant for Mumbai Indians for almost a decade now. He has been a crucial part of the MI team that won the IPL titles on three occasions, the joint-highest along with CSK. However, the West Indian has struggled with his form off late. Pollard could manage only 133 runs in 9 matches that he played last season.
This year, he has scored only 26 runs in the first two matches. The opportunities have dried up on the bowling front as well. WIth quality all-rounders like Ben Cutting and the Pandya brothers, he has not been given a single over in IPL 2019. Is the time up for Kieron Pollard?
Moment of the Match – Yuvraj Singh Shows Signs of Return
It was a nostalgic moment for many fans yesterday when Yuvraj Singh hit three consecutive sixes against an in form Yuzvendra Chahal. All the three big hits were vintage UV strikes – powerful and towering! No wonder the Twitter erupted with epic tweets to the fireworks:
"Felt like Stuart Broad during that over ?"— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 29, 2019
3 sixes in 3 balls bowling to @YUVSTRONG12 and even @yuzi_chahal feared a repeat of the 2007 T20 WC, before redeeming himself the very next delivery ? #RCBvMI #VIVOIPL @RCBTweets pic.twitter.com/RRqxxmrDZw
Kohli was livid over the no-ball that wasn’t called off the last delivery. But as Rohit pointed out, #MI also suffered when a Bumrah delivery was declared a wide when it wasn’t. Shoddy umpiring overall.— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 28, 2019
Player of the Match – Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah surprised everyone by returning back to the playing XI after suffering a shoulder injury in the first match. The No.1 Indian bowler didn’t show signs of the same in the match against RCB. His economical over along with three crucial wickets of Kohli, Hetmyer, and Grandhomme to ultimately deny the hosts.
Funny Match Moments/Memes