Bengaluru: Mumbai Indians' middle order batsmen Kieron Pollard (35) and Jos Buttler (29) guided the team to a six wicket victory with eight balls to spare, in the 41st match of Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Nine match here at the Chinnaswami Stadium on Wednesday.
It was Pollard and Buttler who assuredly played in the crucial moments, producing regular boundaries to earn the victory.
Pollard hit a much needed 19-ball-35 supported by Buttler's 11-ball-29. The former struck two sixes and three fours while the latter blasted three sixes and a four in the winning effort.
The big hitting duo constructed a partnership of 55 runs in 21 balls, and plugged the fall of wickets to seal the win.
Earlier, Ambati Rayudu laid the foundation for the victory with a 47-ball-44, which also included a couple of fours and sixes.
Opening the chase for MI, captain Rohit Sharma hit a-run-a-ball 24 while his partner Parthiv Patel managed to score only one run.
After the fall of Patel, Sharma and Rayudu built a partnership of 58 runs.
Requiring a run rate of 7.6 at the beginning of the chase, MI gradually reduced the asking rate to 75 runs in 44 balls, 55 in 30, 44 in 24 and 16 in 13 balls.
It made the most of 17th over bowled by Shane Watson to collect 18 runs and another 16 runs in the next over off Chirs Jordan.
Buttler finished the match with a cracking six off Aaron in the 19th over.
RCB bowling department produced mixed results for the team, Stuart Binny 0/2, Sreenath Aravind 1/23 and Yuzvendra Chahal 1/16 proved economical with the ball.
Chahal produced a magnificent bowling performanceof with an economy rate of just four. He continues to be a bowling mainstay for the team.
While Chirs Jordan, Shane Watson and Aaron leaked runs heavily with a economy rate north of 10 runs.
Earlier, with top Royal Challengers batsmen misfiring, the team could manage a score of only 151/4 in 20 overs.
Skipper Virat Kohli (6), Chris Gayle (4), Shane Watson (15) and Abraham De Villiers (24) did not live up to the day and only lone ranger K.L. Rahul saved the day for Royal Challengers with a defiant 53-ball-68, remaining unbeaten.
Losing Kohli and Gayle quickly, Royal Challengers lost the momentum to find themselves in a slow paced one-day international kind of situation.
Even after six overs, RCB managed to score only 25/2.
Despite being dropped in the last IPL match played at Bengaluru, Gayle is consistently continuing his 'unit score innings streak'. He misfired in the fourth over off Tim Southee to be caught on the long on.
Though De Villiers looked promising after the early jolt RCB received with the loss of quick wickets, he too fizzled with a low score but managed to hit a six and a four.
The same fate awaited Shane Watson (15). He looked formidable with a six and four but was caught short of the crease in a run-out effected by Rohit Sharma.
It was Rahul who saved the day for Royal Challengers to put a somewhat decent total for the team. Proving to be a vital cog in the wheel, he played a responsible role, peppering his innings with four sixes and three fours.
In the end, Sachin Baby joined Rahul in the final overs to salvage the innings for Royal Challengers. He hit a valuable 13-ball 25 loaded with two sixes and two fours.
Altogether, RCB suffered 51 dot balls in the innings.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma made the most of the toss win.
Except for Pollard who gave away 22 runs in one over, all the other MI bowlers maintained an enviable economy rate for a 20twenty match, which ranged between 3.75 to 8.75 runs in their quota of four overs.
Krunal Pandya 1/15 exhibited the best bowling performance for MI with a economy of 3.75, followed by Tim Southee 1/27 with a rate of 6.75.
Pandya was adjudged man of the match for his excellent bowling performance.
With the latest win, MI occupied the fourth sport in the points table with 12 points, it won six matches and lost five out of 11 while RCB stood at the sixth spot with eight points. It won four matches and lost six out of 10.
Mumbai Indians 153/4 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 44, Kieron Pollard 35; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/16, S. Aravind 1/23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 151/4 in 20 overs: (Lokesh Rahul 68, Sachin Baby 25; Krunal Pandya 1/15, Tim Southee 1/27).