Rajasthan Royals played host to Mumbai Indians in the 21st game of the IPL 2018 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. It was another heartbreaking defeat and if you are an MI fan, you better not be a heart patient. RR stole the game away from the visitors and MI were once again left stranded in a close finish.
Ishan-Yadav set the plot
Mumbai Indians, batting first after winning the toss, got off to a poor start when Evin Lewis was castled by Dhawal Kulkarni for a duck in the first over. Until the 4th over, the RR bowlers were on top but Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav went on the counter-attack and took the score to 43/1 at the end of the powerplay.
The duo was on a mission and went after the bowlers. Yadav brought up his half-century in the 10th over as the score reached 93/1 after 10 overs. Ishan also reached the landmark soon and the score was cruising after 14 overs as the visitors were at 129/1. The stage was beautifully set for the two batsmen as well as the men coming in next to launch and they were well in with a chance of achieving 200.
The Turning Point
It was launching time in the last 6 overs but MI were struck with a huge blow when Ishan was sent back by Kulkarni for 58. To make the matters worse, Suryakumar also made his way back to the pavilion in the next over after making 72 off 47 balls. If that wasn’t enough, this skipper Rohit Sharma was run out off the first ball that he faced and all of a sudden, they were down to 137/4.
Jofra Archer then came to the fore in his debut game and dismissed the Pandya brothers and Mitchell McClenaghan in the penultimate over. Kieron Pollard was the only man who survived and his 21 off 20 balls took the score to 167/7. MI fell well short of what they should have achieved. At one stage, they were cruising towards 200 but in the end, had to settle for a mediocre total.
MI had a good start in the pursuit of their defense as Krunal Pandya scalped Rahul Tripathi for 9 in the 3rd over. The scoring rate was in check and the pressure of breaking free got to Ajinkya Rahane who fell for 14 in the 6th over to McClenaghan. The score was 43/2 after 6 overs and that’s when Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes got together.
The partnership began to flourish after clearing the initial jitters and the duo kept the hosts in the hunt. A stand of 72 runs finally ended in the 15th over when Stokes was bowled by Hardik for 40 off 27 balls. Jasprit Bumrah was brought in the 17th over and he struck twice by dismissing Samson for 52 and Jos Buttler for 8.
Gowtham stole the show
Suddenly, the visitors were on top as Heinrich Klassen fell prey to Mustafizur Rahman in the 18th over. The target seemed distant for RR but Krishnappa Gowtham played a gem of a knock when 40 runs were required from 15 balls. He played a magnificent knock of 33 runs from 11 balls and finished the game in style by knocking one out of the park in the last over. At the end of the day, MI will rue the flurry of wickets that occured in the first innings that ultimately meant they were at least 20 short of the winning score.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bat first
Mumbai Indians: 167/7 in 20 overs
Suryakumar Yadav 72 (47), Ishan Kishan 58 (42)
Jofra Archer 22/3 (4), Dhawal Kulkarni 32/2 (4)
Rajasthan Royals: 168/7 in 19.4 overs
Sanju Samson 52 (39), Ben Stokes 40 (27)
Hardik Pandya 25/2 (2.4), Jasprit Bumrah 28/2 (4)
Rajasthan Royals won by 3 wickets
Player of the Match: Jofra Archer