Tiwary and Bravo give the Indians hope
Saurabh Tiwary and Dwayne Bravo peppered the boundary with fours and sixes during a vital 6th wicket partnership of 64 keep the Mumbai Indians hopes of reaching the knock out stages of the Twenty20 Champions League alive.
Tiwary and Bravo came together in the 14th over to help the Indians reach 165-7 after they had been reduced to 84-5 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kingsmead.
With so much riding on the game for both teams it was the Royal Challengers who struck first as Sachin Tendulkar (1) and Ambati Rayudu (3) were quickly dismissed inside the first four overs.
Having already bowled a maiden to start the game Praveen Kumar bounced back from conceding 10 runs in his second over to dismiss Tendulkar who edged behind a full length delivery much to the delight of Kumar and his teammates.
Rayudu soon followed after he edged a short ball from Vinay Kumar to Rahul Dravid in the slips three deliveries later to leave the slumping Indians 22-2 after just 3.2 overs.
With the pressure mounting on the Indians; Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble decided to bowl out Praveen Kumar who completed his 4 over spell conceding just 26 runs but more importantly picking up the vital wicket of Tendulkar.
Kumble brought himself into the attack an over later after deciding against bowling out Vinay Kumar and the skipper conceded just 8 runs as the Indians crawled towards 50-2 after 8 overs.
Jacques Kallis continued to stave the batsmen of runs in the next over and with the pressure building JP Duminy (10) tried to clear the boundary but could only watch as the ball sailed into the hands of Dale Steyn at long-on.
The Indians reached the half way mark 65-3 and were greeted with the sight of Steyn running in to start the 11th over, his first of the game as the Royal Challengers looked to increase their grip of the game.
Shikhar Dhawan (41), who had opened the batting with Tendulkar looked to break the shackles but, after dispatching Kallis for a boundary and a six over midwicket he fell in the 13th over after he picked out Dravid at mid-wicket to give Steyn the breakthrough.
After staring with the bat against Guyana Kieron Pollard finally arrived at the crease to find the Indians 83-4 and in desperate need of some explosive batting from the West Indies all rounder.
The Royal Challengers had other ideas though and having been peppered with short balls Pollard (0) got a leading edge off the 4th delivery he faced from Steyn to give Ross Taylor an easy catch at extra cover.
With Pollard gone compatriot Bravo came to the crease and played a vital role alongside Tiwary as the pair built a 6th wicket partnership of 64 which changed the course of the game and allowed the Indians to finish the inning with the momentum.
The pair came together at the start of the 14th over and proceeded to smash 6 fours and 3 sixes in an expensive partnership which lasted just 34 before Bravo was caught by Virat Kohli out on the midwicket boundary to give Steyn his 3rd wicket of the innings.
With over an over to go Harbhajan Singh came to the crease and he added a vital 14 runs to help the Indians reach 165-7 to take control of the game.