Anil Kumble remains confident that the Royal Challengers Bangalore can reach the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 despite suffering a second successive loss in the group stage.
The Mumbai Indians beat Bangalore by two runs in a dramatic match at Kingsmead on Sunday night, leaving the Challengers needing to beat the Highveld Lions in the last match in Group B in Johannesburg tomorrow.
The Lions and Mumbai both have four points from two wins. A Bangalore win will put them level on points but they have a superior run rate to both their rivals.
However, Bangalore will have to overcome an enthusiastic Lions side who will be playing on their home ground at the Wanderers Stadium.
The Lions scored an easy nine-wicket win over tournament whipping boys Guyana in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Wanderers earlier on Sunday, prompting Lions captain Alviro Petersen to say: “The guys play for each other ... with this crowd behind us we can go all the way.”
Bangalore appeared to have taken control of their match against Mumbai with what seemed a superb tactical plan. Fast bowler Dale Steyn was held back until the eleventh over in order to counter the threat of big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard.
The plan worked to perfection when Steyn had Pollard caught for a duck to reduce Mumbai to 84 for five after 13 overs. Steyn had figures of two for six after five balls of his third over.
However, the match turned around dramatically as Dwayne Bravo and Sourabh Tiwary put on 64 off only 34 balls, with Steyn conceding 20 runs off his last seven balls.
Bravo fell to Steyn in the 19th over after hitting 29 off 17 balls. Steyn finished with three for 26, Tiwary made 38 not out as Mumbai reached 165 for seven.
Bravo followed up by taking two for 23 in an unbroken four-over spell which pegged back the Bangalore scoring rate.
Bangalore needed 70 off the last seven overs and 28 off the last two. It proved just too much despite an unbeaten 71 off 58 balls by Rahul Dravid and an explosive 47 off 24 balls by Virat Kohli, who was caught off the last ball, bowled by Zaheer Khan, as he tried to hit the winning runs.
For Mumbai, their winning form almost certainly came too late. They lost their first two matches but won their next two.
Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar admitted that run rate would probably scupper his team’s chances.
“It’s beyond our control,” he said.
Earlier the Lions cruised to victory as Guyana produced another disappointing performance. Opening bowler Ethan O’Reilly took four for 27 as Guyana struggled to 148 for nine.
Petersen (57 not out) and hard-hitting Richard Cameron (78 not out) took the Lions to victory with 4.5 overs to spare.