This was an unexpected victory. The Mumbai Indians, who have been on the upswing, were perhaps given their biggest jolt of the IPL 2 season as the Royal Challengers Bangalore rolled themselves back into action at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
A half century from Sanath Jayasuriya followed by one from Dwayne Bravo in the company of Abhishek Nayyar helped Mumbai reach the total of 149. South African all rounder Dillon du Preez was largely responsible for the Mumbai Indians finding themselves in hot water with three wickets to his name and two in an over, one that belonged to Sachin Tendulkar. While not a huge total, it was considered still defendable given that it was the Royal Challengers Bangalore team that has seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of their game.
But the RCB team came back fighting and they showed that by restricting the Mumbai Indians’ innings total, they were determined to convert their winning opportunities into an outright victory. They certainly went about batting in that fashion.
Wasim Jaffer’s wicket did not dent the RCB too much as Jacques Kallis, in the opening partnership, and Robin Uthappa at number three stitched up the match winning partnership. Kallis was the more dominant of the two, making sixty-nine off fifty-nine balls that included two sixes. Uthappa, on the other hand, has perhaps played his most remarkable innings in a year. Having found himself out of favour in the Indian team for the ICC World Twenty20 championships in England in June would not have come as too much of a surprise for the world champion team that won the inaugural tournament in South Africa. But he showed that he had not quite gone past his best as he mustered courage and determination to play a remarkable role in securing this win for the Bangalore team by nine wickets, stumping the soaring Mumbai Indians.