Bumrah's Masterlcass Assets Of The AB-Duo Kohli > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Bumrah's masterlcass trumps the AB-Kohli duet

When Bumrah bowled to de Villiers and Kohli, everything took a backseat as the fans watched in awe

Often, if you are a fan of drawing parallels, you'd think a T20 match is like the new age music. It appeals to you, you play it on loop, play it a few hundred times and then move on. Test cricket is the real deal. Much like the Pink Floyds and the Bob Dylans. Remembered and celebrated for a long time. And to think of it, it's a shame T20 classics are forgotten far too easily. You can blame the overdose of it of course but it's crucial to appreciate the beauty of it. On Thursday, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians produced a quintessential game. A match high on skill, intensity, packed with fascinating subplots and is very likely to be remembered because of the umpiring howler that robbed the game.

The game in Bangalore had everything - the promise of a big Rohit Sharma knock, the craft of Yuzvendra Chahal, a wave of nostalgia stirred by Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya's cameo, Virat Kohli's authoritative knock, the panache of AB de Villiers and a masterclass from Jasprit Bumrah. And while a lot is being talked about what S. Ravi failed to spot and the repercussions of his mistake, for now, let's keep that discussion aside for a while. Once Mumbai were restricted to a par 187 on a wonderful M Chinnaswamy Stadium track, RCB's chances depended on how the Kohli-Bumrah and de Villiers-Bumrah battle would play out. As things turned out, Bumrah tamed both and proved to be the difference between both sides to give the visitors their first points with a six-run win.

Bumrah has played 63 IPL matches and yet no player, apart from Kohli, has more than 70 runs against him. Kohli became the first to take Bumrah for 100 runs in the tournament during his knock of 46. Both Kohli and de Villiers had handled the Bumrah threat with relative ease till the clash - scoring at 9 and 8.33 runs per over respectively against the pacer. On the night, the contest between Bumrah, Kohli and de Villiers lasted a total of just 14 balls, resulting in 17 runs. It took the three maestros just those 14 balls to weave a story of authority, comeback and dominance.

RCB had made a superb start in their chase but the run-out of Moeen Ali gave Mumbai a chance to come back. Kohli often talks about his heart rate during a chase. If it's normal, he feels in control. If it isn't, he tries to bring it to normal. When the RCB captain had walked out to bat, the team was 27 for 1 and needed to kick on. Kohli did just that but what stood out was the scratchiness. Perhaps expected - he was starting his knock and was up against Bumrah. After a solid front foot block, Kohli struck three boundaries - two shaky and one mesmerising. On the second ball, Kohli pulled a back of length ball off the front foot past mid-on. Had Yuvraj not charged too far in too quickly, it would have been a simple catch to his left. The second - a thick outside edge past first slip - raced to the third man fence. By the third ball, Kohli had his eye in. He picked up the length and used an angled bat to find the gap between point and cover point leaning into the drive.

Bumrah had leaked 12 runs from his first over and the fears rose again that his off day against Delhi Capitals wasn't a one-off. By the time Bumrah came on to bowl next, RCB needed 75 off the last seven overs with both Kohli and de Villiers set and looking to tee off. Rohit's astute captaincy meant the 14th over of the chase had become make or break for both sides. Krunal Pandya had given away just four runs in the previous over and the pressure was on RCB to kill the chase. First three balls of Bumrah's second over resulted in three singles. Something had to give and it did.

Ahead of the contest, de Villiers had no hesitation in stating that no player, including Bumrah, is perfect. True. Kohli, for all his batting prowess, too has his weaknesses and Bumrah might just have shown the world how to get the job done. The bouncer, aiming for the shoulder and just outside off, had Kohli pulling without much control. And while it came across as an innocuous bouncer, it wasn't. First up, Kohli rarely gets beaten for pace and he was at that moment. The key was that the delivery ended up being around the right shoulder and not at the body. Kohli, not completely on the backfoot, wasn't able to translate any power into the shot and was forced to pull using the strength of his right shoulder. This isn't the first time Kohli has found himself in such a tangle. Remember the dismissal at the 2015 World Cup semifinal? This was only the second instance of Bumrah dismissing Kohli in IPL. Before this, Kohli had lost to Bumrah in a battle just once. Bumrah was making his debut, MI had no IPL titles and Kohli had just 17 international tons to his name compared to 66 now. The six-year wait had finally ended.

The euphoria from Bumrah died rather quickly. The Kohli threat had been neutralised and the challenge was done and dusted. But the game wasn't. De Villiers picked up the pace from there on. Till the time Kohli batted, de Villiers had made 25 off 21. After the dismissal, in the next 15 balls, he smashed 42 to keep RCB in the hunt. Bumrah came back in the 17th over with RCB needing 41 in the last four overs. He had Shimron Hetmyer caught and gave away just a single - to de Villiers - in that over. De Villiers continued to dent Mumbai and managed to reduce the equation to 22 off the last two overs. Bumrah, bowling the 19th, has been in such situations before. He's produced results before and has managed to turn hopeless situations into wins before. But he was up against de Villiers. The same de Villiers who had smashed and scooped Dale Steyn in his prime to seal the game for RCB at the same venue. The same de Villiers who had thundered before the game that it was possible to get hold of Bumrah and take runs off him.

The plan from de Villiers was simple - with the fine-leg in, he was going to try and scoop Bumrah knowing the pacer was set to target the yorker length. This is where de Villiers is a master at shattering the confidence of the bowlers - premeditating and translating his instincts into big hits. On the second ball, de Villiers got what he wanted only to find himself defeated. A yorker, as expected, was fired in. And while it was shot at 150.6 kph, more than the pace it was the line that beat de Villiers. The right-hander shuffled outside off but found the delivery aimed at his right leg near the wide line. A leg bye was picked up before Bumrah gave five in the over to leave Lasith Malinga 17 to defend.

"Bumrah has matured a lot. I keep saying that and I shouldn't be saying that because he's more than matured now. His performance keeps on growing every single day. He's very smart and he always understands what he's doing with the ball. Virat and AB are class players. We wanted to break the partnership when they were going strong and Bumrah came and got Virat out. He wants to grow every single day and it's a good sign," Rohit said after the game.

It was the first time RCB lost with de Villiers unbeaten in a chase. Before this game, de Villiers had successfully guided his team to a win 15 times while being unbeaten. Soon after the final ball, Bumrah collected the throw, whipped the bails off, patted Shivam Dube on the back and walked off. No wild celebrations, just a smile and all too routine. This is his life. MI had no business winning the contest. Kohli delivered. De Villiers delivered. And yet, the visitors managed to squeeze in a win. That's the might of Bumrah. When Bumrah bowled to de Villiers and Kohli, everything took a backseat as the fans watched in awe. It wasn't bullying. It was never meant to be. It was mesmerising. It was ineffable. It was a night that should be remembered for the theatre created by Bumrah against two of the best. Unfortunately, it won't be.

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