Bangalore:Rahul Dravid must wonder what his team needs to do to make an impressive score. Six weeks into the IPL, Bangalore Royal Challengers didn't bat very differently in their last match than they had in their first. On Wednesday, they made just 122-9 against the Mumbai Indians in a dead tie shortened by rain.
The 123-run target was no worry for Mumbai. Their openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya have been the best partnership on display. By the time Jayasuriya was out for 54 (37 balls, 4 sixes, 4 fours), their partnership of 96 had, more or less, settled matters for Mumbai.
Tendulkar himself made 40 (42 balls, 4x4, 1x6) not out to take Mumbai home by nine wickets, as both sides brought their unsuccessful IPL campaigns to an end.
The downpour of the Chinnaswamy delayed the game's start by 90 minutes, reducing the tie to 18 over per side. Tendulkar won the toss and decided to bowl. In what must be a first of sorts, Bangalore opened the innings with two wicketkeepers, Mark Boucher and Srivats Goswami. The opening partnership was the only positive in Bangalore's innings.
The pint-sized batsmen added 35 in five and a half overs before Bangalore's middle order collapsed against the deceptive seam bowling of Dilhara Fernando (4-18) and Dwayne Smith (3-26).
Fernando's figures are the best in the tournament by a Mumbai bowler. There was some freshness in the pitch and Fernando, along with Ashish Nehra, bent their backs and got the ball to lift.
Misbah-ul Haq, who turned 34 today, couldn't handle the extra bounce. He edged his first ball to slip. Fernando's first spell read 2-0-3-3 and Bangalore's top order collapsed after a steady start.
Cameron White looked like he was finally in for a big score but he, Virat Kohli, Dravid and B Akhil fell in quick succession to leave Bangalore looking at another embarrassing score.