Some big hitting from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard guided the Mumbai Indians to a six-wicket victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mumbai on Wednesday.
AB de Villiers was aiming for a third half-century in a row as RCB sought after their second victory of the campaign, but the 170-7 proved fairly comfortable for the hosts to chase down, seeing it off with two overs to spare.
Sharma’s Mumbai Indians now have two victories to their name themselves, after losing three of their first four games. RCB have played two less games than them.
RCB were missing the services of Chris Gayle who flew back to West Indies for the birth of his child, but Lokesh Rahul stepped up as he blasted a quickfire 23 off 14 balls. New Zealander Mitchell McClenaghan found the breakthrough.
Virat Kohli and De Villiers pushed on with a 59-run stand, but the middle overs proved problematic for them thanks to some decent bowling efforts from Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya. Australian Travis Head (37 off 24) and promising youngster Sarfaraz Khan (28 off 18) finished strongly to allow them to post 170-7.
Kane Richardson found an early wicket in Mumbai’s response as Parthiv Patel fell for five, but a 76-run stand between Sharma and Ambati Rayudu followed as they kept up with the required run rate.
Sharma hit 62 off 44, which allowed Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard to play their natural game and see the game off with ease. English big-hitter Buttler scored 28 off 14 balls, before Pollard finished the job off with three sixes in his 19-ball 40.