BENGALURU: There were plenty of subplots heading into the tie between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Sunday. Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal vs Rahul Chahar, depending on what catches your fancy. There was also the return of Hardik Pandya, who was playing his first game since July.
But it was Bangalore’s Glenn Maxwell who stole the show with a commanding performance against Mumbai on Sunday. He had a point to prove after his below-par showing in the first two matches of the UAE leg. More pertinently, he needed to exorcise the demons of a torrid 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Kings XI Punjab, when he went through the entire season without hitting a single maximum. He managed to do so with a 37-ball 56 that helped RCB reach a competitive total of 165/6.
He also took 2/23 with the ball as an all-round bowling performance helped RCB bowl out Mumbai for 111 and notch up a 54-run win. Aside from Maxwell, Harshal Patel took a hat-trick — claiming the wickets of Hardik, Kieron Pollard and Chahar — and finished with figures of 4/17. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal starred with 3 wickets.
Kohli, too, hit 51 off 42 balls to provide Bangalore a decent foundation to build on. Bangalore are now third in the points table with 12 points from 10 matches. Mumbai are languishing at seventh and are yet to open their account in the UAE this year.
RCB would have ideally liked a few more on the board, but some excellent death bowling by Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult restricted the damage. Having scored 10 and 11 in Bangalore’s last two matches — both of which they lost — there was no doubt that Maxwell was under pressure. Bangalore needed their X-factor to fire on Sunday and also shepherd that the rest of the middle-order.
Brief scores: RCB 165/6 in 20 ovs (Maxwell 56, Kohli 51; Bumrah 3/36) bt MI 111 in 18.1 ovs (H Patel 4/17, Chahal 3/11).