Rohit Sharma led from the front with a sparkling half-century before Mumbai Indians rallied to comfortably defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 19 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday night.
Asked to bat first, Mumbai rode on their skipper’s 35-ball 59 and Kieron Pollard's handy 43 off 31 balls to post a stiff 187 for five.
In reply, Royal Challengers Bangalore lost their way from 94 for one in the 10th over and were restricted to 168 for eight.
The victory was Mumbai's second in seven matches, while Bangalore suffered their fourth defeat in seven outings.
The Bangalore franchise started their run chase briskly, with Parthiv Patel and Chris Gayle at the helm. The duo stitched a quick 53-run stand before the wicketkeeper-batsman's stumps were shattered by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Patel struck five fours for his 26 but Gayle was the aggressor of the two, carting the bowlers all over the park.
He hit Pawan Suyal for two sixes and an equal number of fours in the third over, as the bowler went for 28 runs.
In three overs Bangalore had scored 43 runs.
However, Gayle couldn't sustain the onslaught; he was castled by Harbhajan in the 10th over. His 24-ball 38 was laced with three fours and as many sixes.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli got a reprieve when he was dropped on 32 by Jasprit Bumrah at short-fine leg off Lasith Malinga.
Bumrah, however, dismissed the dangerous A B de Villiers (9) cheaply in the next over, when the batsman attempted a sweep shot.
Kohli couldn't capitalise on the advantage handed to him and departed five balls later, thanks to a brilliant catch by Corey Anderson at long -off.
At that stage, Bangalore were 119 for four, requiring 69 runs off 39 balls.
Mumbai wrested the momentum when the visitors lost two more quick wickets, as Kieron Pollard put his football skills to good use to kick the ball at the stumps and run-out Yuvraj Singh and catch Mitchell Starc at cover off Malinga in the next over.
Rilee Rossouw struck a 14-ball 24 but it was an uphill task for the visitors after the South African was dismissed in the penultimate over, with the team needing 29 runs off 10 balls.
Earlier, Rohit, who remained unbeaten on a 35-ball 59, and Kieron Pollard forged a 60-ball 97-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Rohit's innings yielded three fours and four sixes, while Pollard struck six boundaries.
Put in to bat, Mumbai started well but lost Aussie opener Ben Dunk (15) to the first ball of the fourth over. He shared a 25-run stand with wicketkeeper-batsman CM Gautam and struck a couple of fours against Ashoke Dinda before paying the price for a loose shot that was caught by Yuvraj Singh off Harshal Patel.
Mumbai looked in control for a while before losing wickets in quick succession. Ambati Rayudu and Gautam added 46 runs off 29 balls for the second wicket before Dinda castled Rayudu in the eighth over.
Gautam departed in the next over. He struck three sixes and two fours in his 28-ball 30.
Corey Anderson, who hit a six over long-on off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, perished while attempting the same shot two balls later, reducing the hosts to 84 for four in the tenth over.
It was up to skipper Rohit and Pollard to do the repair job. Rohit, who got off to a slow start, accelerated and thrashed pacer Varun Aaron in the penultimate over for 24 runs. He carted the bowler for three sixes and a four to bring up his half century.
The innings was marred by an ugly mid-field altercation between West Indian all-rounder Pollard and Australia fast bowler Starc in the 17th over of the Mumbai innings.
The pacer, who had bowled a bouncer earlier, said something to the batsman, who dismissed it with a wave. Off the next ball, even though Pollard pulled out of the strike, Starc fired the ball at the batsman, angering the Trinidadian, who appeared to fling the bat at the bowler's end but, luckily, it slipped out of his hand.
Pollard was run-out following a misunderstanding in the last over. Royal Challengers Bangalore conceded 48 runs in the last three overs. Dinda was the most profligate of the bowlers and gave away 38 runs in his three overs, while Aaron was expensive as he conceded 41 runs in his four.
Image: Rohit Sharma