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Royal Challengers suffer big defeat

The Royal Challengers Bangaloreís chances of reaching next weeks Indian Premier League semi finals hang in the balance after their heavy 57 run defeat against the Mumbai Indians.

Having played 14 games the Royal Challengers will now have to wait and see if the Rajasthan Royals beat the Kolkata Knight Riders later tonight at Eden Gardens.

A close victory for the Royals over the Knight Riders will seal a semi final place for the Royal Challengers.

A victory would have guaranteed them a semi final place but they got off to a slow start in their chase of victory which put pressure in the openers from an early stage.

The home side had reached 30 with out losing a wicket before they lost openers Manish Pandey (16) and Jacques Kallis (14) in the space of 6 balls to reduce them to 31-2 at the end of the 5th over.

Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid built a partnership of 27 to set the recovery in progress but it was halted by Harbhajan Singh who dismissed Dravid (16) who was caught by Kieron Pollard.

Harbhajan Singh struck again in his next over to remove Pietersen (21) as the Royal Challengers started to struggle falling to 72-4. The Chinnaswamy Stadium was reduced to stunned silence 3 balls after Pietersenís dismissal when Robin Uthappa (4) was caught by Abhishek Nayar.

With wicket falling at regular intervals the Royal Challengers were well behind the required run rate as the pressure got to the home sides batsman.

Virat Kolhli remained cool at the crease while Ross Taylor (9) and Dale Steyn (0) were dismissed cheaply but his resistant innings of 37 wasnít enough as the Royal Challengers crashed to defeat.

After the long delay because of the bomb blasts outside the ground play finally got under an hour later than scheduled with Mumbai put into bat by Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble.

The Indians got off to a very slow start with Tendulkar looking uncharacteristically rusty after the delay, partnered with Ryan McLaren the pair built a opening partnership of just 34 before Tendulkarís (19) innings was ended.

Tendulkar, the leading run scorer in this years ipl has enjoyed a tremendous tournament roles back the years with wonderful stroke play thrilling fans across the county.

The Indians skipper looked out of sorts today scratching around for an 18 ball score of 19 before he was caught by Ross Taylor to give Jacques Kallis the early breakthrough.

The runs continued to be hard to come by as the Indians struggled inside the first 8 overs before the innings came alive in the 8th over when Rayudu smashed two sixes and a four off the bowling of Pankaj Singh.

Rayudu repeated that feat in the 11th over smashing Kumble for 16 runs as the Indians threatened to run riot with the pressure starting tp show after Dale Steyn dropped an easy chance to dismiss McLaren.

Kallis struck back in to next over to dismiss Rayudu ended the Indians 2nd wicket partnership of 69 as Rayudu fell 4 short of a well deserved half century.

The loss of Rayudu brought Kieron Pollard to the crease and the powerful West Indian quickly got into the action smashing three consecutive sixes off the bowling of Pankaj Singh as the Indians look to increase the run rate and set the Royal Challengers a big run chase.

Kumble had other ideas though sending in a quickish slider at the start of the next over which rapped Pollard on the pads much to the delight of the crowd as the home side battled back.

McLaren tried an ill advised reverse sweep and was trapped LBW by Pietersen for 40 but JP Duminy remained calm to smash a quickfire 42 from just 19 balls to help the Indians reach 191-4 setting the home side an imposing run chase to claim a place in the IPL semi finals.

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