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IPL 2023, RCB v MI: Dynamic duo of Kohli and du Plessis dominate as RCB beat Mumbai

IPL 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Mumbai Indians (MI), Top Performances: Virat Kohli-Faf du Plessis' 148-run stand, Tilak Varma's 84, Mohammed Siraj & Reece Topley's opening spell are top performances. RCB beat Mumbai and move to third place in points table.

IPL 2023, RCB vs MI, Top Performances: Virat Kohli-Faf de Plessis put 148-run opening stand against MI | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Kohli-Faf put 148-run opening stand vs MI (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores: RCB 172/2 (Faf du Plessis 73, Virat Kohli 82 not out) defeated MI 171/7 (Tilak Varma 84 not out, Karn Sharma 2/32) by 8 wickets.

Player of the Match: Faf du Plessis ( 73 off 43)

Mumbai Indians played their IPL 2023 opening fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. MI, the five-time defending champions, have a poor success rate in their opening game of the IPL campaign. Meanwhile, RCB began well as usual, and like the last few seasons, making it to the playoffs on all the previous three occasions.

The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is notorious for having a flat pitch, and a score of 200 can be easily chased down. But Mumbai was off to a horrific start, losing three wickets for just 20 runs in the powerplay overs. It then became a huge task to reach the par score although youngster Tilak Varma played a blinder of a knock. MI’s batting failure was their downfall in the past season, and once again, they faltered in the opening game of IPL 2023. Moreover, the inexperience of Mumbai’s bowling attack came to the fore. Jofra Archer has come a long injury, while Piyush Chawla is making a sort of a comeback. Jason Behrendorff, who was the impact player for MI in this match, failed to make an impression. Arshad Khan and Hrithik Shokeen, with just 8 T20 games combined before this match, have just too little experience to pose any threat to the strong batting line-up of RCB.

Tilak Varma saves the day for Mumbai

Mumbai was asked to bat first on a flat deck, but they could not get off to a good start as RCB bowlers did not give any room to the opposition to play their strokes. Ishan Kishan fell early, caught in the deep third man for 10 off Mohammed Siraj’s bowling. Siraj conceded just 5 runs in his first spell of 3 overs. He could have also taken Rohit Sharma’s wicket, but a collision between him and keeper Dinesh Karthik saw the catch being spilled. However, Akash Deep got Hitman to edge it behind in the next over.

With Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav falling early, the onus to resurrect the innings fell on 20-year-old Tilak Varma who played a gem of a knock of 46-ball 84 not out to take Mumbai to 171/7. He posted a stand of 50 runs with Nehal Wadhera (21) to revive the innings and later finished it off with an unbeaten stand of 48 runs in 17 balls with Arshad Khan (15 not out).

For RCB, they lost their English pacer Reece Trophy to a shoulder injury after the bowler dived to stop the ball. He took no further participation in the match. Karn Sharma took 2 wickets for 32 runs in his 4 overs to emerge as the most successful bowler for RCB.

Current and former RCB captains thrash MI

RCB came out all guns blazing when they started the chase of 172. Openers Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli were all at ease playing their strokes against both pace and spin. Captain du Plessis was the aggressive of the two as he kept looking for boundaries, and even played an innovative flick off the legs for a six over the deep fine-leg boundary. Kohli too found his groove and played some brilliant drives, pulls, and flicks. The two posted a stand of 148 runs in 14.5 overs before du Plessis fell to a catch in the deep to Tim David off Arshad Khan’s over. He struck 6 sixes and 5 fours in his 73-run knock. Dinesh Karthik fell for a third-ball duck, before Kohli (82 not out) finished off the chase in 16.2 overs in the company of Glenn Maxwell (12 not out).

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between RCB and MI in IPL 2023

IPL 2023, RCB vs MI, Top Performances_ Tilak Varma scored 84 off 46 against MI _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Tilak Varma scored 84 off 46 against RCB (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Tilak Varma wages a lone battle

After Mumbai Indians’ top order was decimated in no time by RCB bowlers, they found a saviour in Tilak Varma, who was playing just his second season for the franchise. He came out to bat when Mumbai was struggling at 20/3 in 5.2 overs. He soon lost Suryakumar Yadav but Tilak continued to play his shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. He played the lofted strokes, drives, and pulls with ease, and even produced the reverse sweep as well. He stitched a 50-run stand with Nehal Wadhera to resurrect the innings. In the death overs, he upped the ante to lift Mumbai to 171/7. At one stage, 150 looked difficult, but Varma’s exploits helped Mumbai get those extra 20-30 runs to stay competitive in the match. Varma scored 46-ball 84 not out with 9 fours and 4 sixes.

IPL 2023, RCB vs MI, Top Performances_  Mohammed Siraj give just 5 runs from his first three overs against MI _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Siraj gave just 5 runs from his first three overs against MI (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Opening bowling spell of Siraj & Topley

RCB started the attack with a new ball pair of Mohammed Siraj and Reece Topley. Siraj’s good-length balls were difficult to score off, while Topley complemented Siraj well with his accurate left-arm bowling. Siraj got the better of Kishan and could have got Rohit also if not for an easy catch being spilled. On a good wicket, Siraj-Topley kept Mumbai’s top-order quiet. Topley bowled a perfect yorker to dismiss Cameron Green bowled. The two bowlers managed to restrict MI to 19/2 in 5 overs and that made the difference in preventing Mumbai from posting a competitive score. Siraj took 1/21, and Topley bagged 1/14. It was unfortunate Topley suffered an injury and could not bowl any further after his first spell of 2 overs.

Faf-Kohli post a match-winning stand of 148 runs

Chasing any total needed a good opening stand, and Faf-Kohli did just that, posting a stand of 148 runs in 14.5 overs. Captain Faf du Plessis took the lead in punishing Mumbai’s wayward bowling attack as he looked for boundaries from the word go. He played some eye-catching shots, repeatedly going over the top to unsettle the bowlers. The shot of the match came from du Plessis who flicked a ball on his legs over the deep fine leg boundary for a six. Virat Kohli too matched his captain strokes for strokes, hitting the ball on the rise, pulling and flicking with ease. The two looked extremely comfortable batting as the pitch was a beauty to bat on, and they ensured Mumbai never got an opening to get back into the match.

Points Table Scenario & What's Next

RCB is off to a great start to the tournament, winning the first match against Mumbai by 10 wickets. They now face KKR at Eden Gardens on April 6. Mumbai had once again started their IPL campaign with a loss and now faces CSK at their home ground in Wankhede Stadium on April 8. RCB is currently placed 3rd, while Mumbai is 8th in the points table.

IPL 2023 Points Table

IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table

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