Live Report - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2021, Dubai

To round-off the weekend's double-headers, we have two big-ticket teams that could really do with a win: Virat Kohli's Royals Challengers Bangalore vs Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians.

You'll find ball-by-ball commentary here in English, and here in Hindi. If you're in the USA, you can watch today's game on ESPN+ in English, as well as in Hindi.

Roaring Challengers of Bangalore

RCB have roared back with a big win over Mumbai by 54 runs. Just one boundary since the ninth over. A big statement from Yuzvendra Chahal in his first head-to-head against the side of the legspinner whom he lost out to. It is Chahals slow legspin that turned the tide when Mumbai were rushing towards the target. Glenn Maxwell took out two wickets and Harshal took a hat-trick.

RCB can now breathe easy as they are now four points clear of the next teams positioned fourth. Mumbai are one of them and now need to win every match from here. Thanks for joining us.

Game over

Harshal Patel gets out Hardik and Pollard in two balls. They are 99% favourites to win according to our Forecaster. And Harshal now has a hat-trick with a slower-ball full toss to take out Rahul Chahar lbw too.

First the Hardik wicket. We all know they bowl wide to him now, but this is wide and slower balls. Hardik catches up with the width, but plays for regulation pace. Gets the edge. And then a slower ball slides behind Pollard's pads to knock off the leg stump. He now has eight wickets against MI alone this season.

Later in the over he goers for the first boundary in 51 balls.

Forty balls without a boundary

In a 90-ball innings so far. And they have lost four wickets in this period. It all began with Rohit getting hit on the hand by Ishan, and he then got out trying to hit a six. RCB are well ahead in the game now as Pollard and Hardik Pandya need 68 to get off the last five. Chahal has one over left, Siraj has one, Harshal Patel two. Jamieson has two too. Interesting choices for Kohli now.

Down to Pollard, Pandya and Surya

Krunal Pandya is gone, but Mumbai still have the engine room in tact. Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. RCB will know Hardik hasn't been at his best and is coming back from injury. Seventy-three from 41, it is game on.

Double blow for Rohit and Mumbai

First Rohit Sharma wears one on the hand as Ishan Kishan drills a shot back off Maxwell, giving his captain at the non-striker's end no time to get out of the way. It is a stinging blow, and takes about five minutes of attention from the medical staff. Then Rohit tries to repeat his slog-sweep off Maxwell from two overs ago, but doesn't get enough power into this.

In the next over, Ishan tries to hit Chahal, which is his role as the left-hand batter out in the middle, but he doesn't pick the wrong'un and is caught at short third man. Mumbai 81 for 3 in 10.3 with Krunal Pandya promoted to maintain the right-left combination. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard kept for the death. They are still 57% favourites to win.

Chahal gets de Kock

For the fifth time in IPL, for just 33 runs in 31 balls. RCB stay alive with that wicket, and MI send out Ishan Kishan to keep the right-left combination going. Mumbai 58 for 1 in seven overs.

Mumbai on their way

At the end of the Powerplay, they are 56 for 0 with Rohit Sharm going at a strike rate of over 170. The no-ball in the third over provided them the kick they needed. The asking rate is now under eight, and they are 79% favourites to win according to our Forecaster.

Short by 15?

Just the nine runs off the last two overs thanks to the Bumrah two in two. And then you had batters who are chopped and changed too frequently and are not secure in their roles. David, Jamieson and Hasaranga are in a roulette. Now they have to defend 165.

Bumrah two in two

A quick partnership of 35 off 16 balls between Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers threatened to hurt Mumbai Indians bad at the death with even 190 becoming a possibility. Maxwell was superb with his reverse ramps off Milne, de Villiers was punishing small errors in length, but then Bumrah took them out in two balls. That is worth about 15 runs in the total. RCB 162 for 5 in 19 overs. Bumrah 4-0-36-3. Now Boult, not reputed to be great at the death, has to bowl against Dan Christian and Shahbaz Ahmed. Not Maxwell and de Villiers.

Another perfect Kohli innings

For the opposition, that is. What do you want when you are planning against Kohli? Either get him out early or let him play as long as possible without getting into the death overs where he is as lethal as de Villiers, Pollard, Russell. In a perfect result for Mumbai, they have got Kohli out in the 16th over, just before the death overs began. Kohli has now faced just the one ball in death overs this IPL.

So it ends at 51 off 42, just 22 runs since spin was introduced. Against pace, Kohli scored 33 off 21, and 18 off 21 balls against spin. Mumbai have gone past Kohli just before he gets dangerous, but now they have de Villiers and Maxwell to contend with at the death. RCB 126 for 3 in 16 overs, Maxwell 34 off 37.

Kohli against spin

Here is a stat. In this IPL, Virat Kohli has gone at 8.29 an over against pace, but off 99 balls from spin, he has scored just the 103 runs. A similar story is playing itself out as he has gone from 29 off 16 when spin was introduced to 46 off 35 after seven overs of spin. That is 17 runs off 19 balls.

What could be the reason behind it? The obvious one is that spin is usually bowled outside the Powerplay and Kohli doesn't like taking the boundary riders on before the death overs. Then again, he has gone at 5.11 an over against spin inside the Powerplay this year. That will only invite teams to bowl spin early against RCB. Outside the Powerplay, his strike rate against pace has gone down from 8.64 in the Powerplay overall to 7.53.

It seems a mix of the two. To start off with, the intent is not that aggressive against spin, but that doesn't happen in a vacuum. If Kohli didn't consider hitting out against spin too bog a risk, he would be attacking them more.

RCB 97 for 2 in 12, Kolhi 46 off 35, Maxwell 12 off 9.

KS Bharat does his job

Wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat is slated at No. 3, but he doesn't get to bat at that station that often because his role seems to be a very specific one. He bats only when an early wickets falls, and his role is restricted to not exposing Maxwell and de Villiers to the new ball. Once that part of his job is done, he has to hit out. He did both in this game. He played out the Powerplay normally, and then went after Rahul Chahar, slogging him for two sixes. Then, in the ninth over, he was caught trying to hit a third. Gone for 32 off 24. RCB 75 for 2 in nine overs.

Spice spice spice

At the end of the second over, the ball rolls to point, nobody is contesting it, point lobs the throw to mid-on, but clears him, and Kohli and KS Bharat run two overthrows. Mumbai Indians are not happy. Mumbai Indians consider the ball is dead, and they are not happy about it. However, it doesn't seem the umpires have not called "over" yet, and RCB still consider the ball to be in play. So as far as the laws of cricket are concerned, the ball is still in play, and RCB are well within their rights to take those runs.

Between overs, Kohli is heard on the stumps mic saying, in Hindi, "Tell him I don't play this way." The "this", I assume, suggests "sneaky" or "underhand".

Mumbai, meanwhile, give Bumrah another over in the Powerplay, which is very rare. First ball is short and at Kohli, and the top edge goes over the keeper for four. Next ball is short again, but Kohli pulls it clean for a six. Kohli has been superb inside the Powerplay this IPL, full of intent. He takes down Adam Milne too, charging him, lofting him. RCB 44 for 1 in five overs, Kohli 29 off 16. Bumrah to Kohli in T20s now: 84 balls, 126 runs, four wickets.

Bumrah with new ball

So far Jasprit Bumrah had bowled only 11 overs in the Powerplay this year even though they went for just 64 runs. Mumbai feel his bigger impact is in the back 10 so they often use Boult and someone else in the Powerplay. They have opened with Bumrah today, and he has troubled Devdutt Paddikal for a while before getting his edge through to then keeper. Since the start of the 2017 IPL, there has been only one IPL in which Bumrah has gone for a run a ball in the Powerplay. But it is the wickets that they want in the Powerplay, and today Bumrah has given them one. RCB 10 for 1 after two overs.

Back to Dubai

Okay now we can focus on the game at hand. Virat Kohli and Devdutt Paddikal have their strike-rate columns under the scanner, and here they are against a pretty good Mumbai Indians new-ball attack. Here we go.

Hardik Pandya is back

Big match for qualification aspirations for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, and Mumbai have found two bits of good news around the toss. Hardik Pandya is fit and back, and Mumbai have won the toss and decided to field.

RCB are ahead of MI on the table, but they have lost both their matches in the UAE and need to turn the momentum. They have made three changes. Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian and Shahbaz Ahmed in for Tim David, Wanindu Hasaranga and Navdeep Saini. Both teams have played nine matches each. RCB have 10 points, MI 8.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 1 V Kohli (capt.), 2 D Padikkal, 3 KS Bharat (wk), 4 GJ Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 DT Christian, 8 KA Jamieson, 9 HV Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 YS Chahal

Mumbai Indians 1 RG Sharma (capt.), 2 Q de Kock (wk), 3 Ishan Kishan, 4 SA Yadav, 5 HH Pandya, 6 KA Pollard, 7 KH Pandya, 8 AF Milne, 9 RD Chahar, 10 TA Boult, 11 JJ Bumrah