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Batting woes come back to haunt Mumbai.

Dubai The grim reality of life without Sachin Tendulkar was laid bare for Mumbai Indians fans when the defending Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) champions crashed to a seven-wicket defeat by Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

With the now-retired batting legend looking on from the dugout, Rohit Sharma's side fell to their second successive defeat of IPL-7 after scoring a meagre 115 for nine. Mumbai's batsmen struggled to 122 in their opening loss to Kolkata Knight Riders last week and their deficiencies were once again exposed.

Tendulkar, now the team's off-field aACAyicon', must have been saddened to see one batsman after another gift their wickets to the opposition when going for big shots. Six of Mumbai's first seven wickets were caught in the deep as the batsmen tried to make up for their inability to hit boundaries - they didn't score a single six and at one stage went for 53 balls without reaching the fence.

Ambati Rayudu top scored with 35 but his 37-ball knock was scratchy and contained just one four. Young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the Bangalore bowlers with two for 17 from his four overs, while Mitchell Starc and Varun ron also claimed two scalps apiece.

The Mumbai bowlers did at least make a game of it, taking three early wickets to put the Bangalore fans on edge, but Parthiv Patel (57 n.o.) and AB de Villiers (45 n.o.) batted with assurance to add an unbeaten 99 together and see their side home with 15 balls to spare.

Earlier, Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field, but Chris Gayle was not deemed fit enough to return from a back injury so the team was unchanged. Mumbai brought in young medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah for batsman C.M. Gautam.

The Royal Challengers made a poor start as Chahal dropped an easy chance off Michael Hussey at point and Nic Maddinson spilled a slip catch off Aditya Tare. Mumbai looked to cash in on their good fortune, but some tight bowling from the Bangalore pacers kept the scoring in check. Frustration got the better of Hussey as he helped an Albie Morkel delivery round the corner to Chahal at square leg, who was relieved to cling on.

Morkel leaked 18 runs from the final powerplay over as Mumbai reached 49 for one after six, but Tare (17 from 18 balls) perished in the next over as his top-edged pull off Varun ron was pouched by Maddinson, who also made up for his drop, at deep square-leg.

Captain Sharma didn't last long as Mumbai struggled to pick up the pace. The Indian batsman threw his wicket away as he lofted Chahal gently to De Villiers at long-off.

Mumbai needed a big partnership to set them up for a late thrash, but Kieron Pollard tried to hit Chahal over long-on and only succeeded in picking out Sachin Rana, who took a good catch above his head.

Corey Anderson hit Mumbai's first boundary in almost nine overs when he smashed ron back over his head, and he then deflected a short ball fine down the leg side for another four, but still the team only had 87 runs after 14 overs.

Rayudu perished when he was well caught by De Villiers off Starc. And, from the next ball, Anderson was caught by Kohli at long-on for 18 from 19 balls, leaving in a sorry position.

In the reply, a classic Lasith Malinga leg-stump yorker did for Maddinson (12) and Zaheer Khan then claimed the big scalp of Kohli for a duck when he opened the face and guided his second ball to Harbhajan at slip.

Yuvraj Singh should have been out to the next ball, but wicketkeeper Tare dropped an edge high above his head. That didn't matter, however, as Zaheer immediately pinned his India teammate leg before suddenly, Bangalore were 17 for three and it was game on.

But Parthiv Patel and De Villiers set about rebuilding the innings and South African De Villiers finally hit the match's first maximum when he pulled Bumrah into the stands in the 12th over.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 20, 2014
Words:712
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