Bumrah’s five gives Mumbai Royal high

Pacer claims five wickets before batters take MI home against RCB
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after sending back a RCB batsman during the IPL 2024 cricket match at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, Thursday, April 11, 2024.
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after sending back a RCB batsman during the IPL 2024 cricket match at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, Thursday, April 11, 2024. (Photo | AP)

CHENNAI: Death, taxes and Jasprit Bumrah channelling his genius on a cricket field. Or something like that. On Thursday night, the pacer, widely recognised as one of the best bowlers going around, displayed all of his best hits. In the process, he helped a beleaguered franchise who were facing another beleaguered franchise.

Mumbai had lost three of the opening four games but that was despite Bumrah’s best efforts. Bengaluru posted a challenging 197 on a typical Wankhede track and the innings, from the hosts’ perspective, reflected the gulf between Bumrah and the other bowlers. While he picked up 5/21 in four overs, the others, between them, had returned with figures of 3/173 in 16 overs. That has been the franchise’s Achilles Heel this season.

While Bumrah has overall figures of 10 for 119 in 20 overs, the combined total of the others read 18 for 838 in 75.3 overs. After being given the ball in the third over of innings, he was into the action straightaway. One length delivery came in with the angle into Virat Kohli whose across the line swipe caught the edge through to Ishan Kishan. Post that 100 in his last match, the opener was very uncharacteristic and had zero rhythm. The end result was a nine-ball three.

Will Jacks, in place of Cameron Green, also didn’t hang around but Rajat Patidar and Faf du Plessis were in the middle of a fine rebuilding job when Hardik Pandya turned to Bumrah again. To be honest, this has been a set pattern. Give him one over in the powerplay, one in the middle phase and two at the death. In the one over he bowled, he mixed it up cleverly with yorkers, a slower ball, one on length and a short ball to boot. The visitors had scored 54 off the previous five overs so this was a welcome relief for the hosts. The effect was a wicket to Gerald Coetzee three balls later.

Patidar, who had already hit the South African for back-to-back sixes, went for another big shot off a shortish ball but ended up gloving it to Kishan. That’s the kind of effect unbowled Bumrah overs can have on the batting team. On a good surface, you need more than par to feel comfortable and when somebody like a Bumrah has 12 balls remaining in the last nine overs, you feel like you want to target all the other bowlers.

While Dinesh Karthik managed to hit four boundaries off Akash Madhwal, Du Plessis took on Bumrah. A shin high full toss was pouched smartly by long on. Off the next ball, Mahipal Lomror, who impressed in his last dig, came, saw and was conquered; a Bumrah yorker that crashed into his toe like it was a laser guided missile.

It’s what makes facing Bumrah such a huge challenge in this format. It’s almost like Arjen Robben cutting in off the right wing before curling into the far corner off his left foot. You can prepare for it but you can seldom win that fight. He wasn’t done for the night. Minutes later, he came back and picked up two in two again as Saurav Chauhan and Vijaykumar Vyshak were sent packing. Thirteen dots, five wickets, 21 runs. A magisterial performance under the Wankhede lights to help the team home. With the entree done, Kishan, Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav helped themselves to a couple of helpings of dessert to take them accross the line.

Brief scores: RCB 196/8 in 20 ovs (Du Plessis 61, Patidar 50, Karthik 53 n.o; Bumrah 5/21) lost to Mumbai Indians 199/3 in 15.3 ovs (Kishan 69, Rohit 38, Suryakumar 52).

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