Royal Challengers Bangalore recorded a comprehensive eight-wicket win against Mumbai Indians to kickstart their campaign in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a commanding fashion at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
After opting to field first, Mohammed Siraj produced a fiery spell with the new ball as he bowled three overs in the field restrictions and conceded only five runs, including the wicket of Ishan Kishan which helped the Bangalore outfit restrict the opposition to only 29 runs in the powerplay.
Mumbai never really recovered from the initial jitters and crawled their way to 171 for the loss of seven wickets courtesy off a masterclass from Tilak Varma.
In the post-match press conference, Shane Bond, the bowling coach of Mumbai Indians lauded the effort of Siraj and said, "I thought the game was set up by Mohammed Siraj and we were always on the backfoot. First three overs from Siraj, he didn’t give away any width. He used his bouncers beautifully. He gave us nothing to hit, forced us to play some shots and got wickets from it."
"We were 29 for 1 in the powerplay on a good wicket, small ground. We have a long batting order, and we tried to up the ante and got to 170. That opening spell was brilliant. He was too good for us today,” Bond said.
The former Kiwi speedster also rued lack of partnerships with the bat and some inconsistent bowling with the new ball, leading to Mumbai's downfall.
“I think 170 on a really small ground was not a good total and we left runs out on the ground. I think 190 could have been a par total. We didn’t bowl well and we knew how important the opening partnership is going to be," Bond said.
"We couldn’t break it and failed to apply pressure on Faf and Virat. I would have loved to see our bowlers bowl with a bit of control but we were outplayed in all the three departments,” he further added.
Mumbai Indians are known to be slow starters in the IPL, and Bond feels it is a challenging start to the competition for them yet again.
“This is my ninth season here, and we have never won an opening game. It’s kind of frustrating, to be honest, and it is a tough way to start, he concluded.
Mumbai Indians will now lock horns against the Chennai Super Kings in an evening encounter on April 8 at the Wankhede Stadium before travelling to Delhi for their third game of the season on April 11.