Jofra Archer (center) and Ajinkya Rahane (second from right) © AFP
Jofra Archer (center) and Ajinkya Rahane (second from right) © AFP

Mumbai Indians (MI) suffered another heartbreak in ongoing VIVO IPL 2018. In match 21 between MI and Rajasthan Royals (RR), the former lost by 3 wickets to go down for the fourth time in the current edition. From 130 or 1 to only managing 167 for 7, MI had only themselves to blame. RR’s leading wicket-taker was debutant Jofra Archer; 3 for 22. In addition, after reducing RR to 125 for 6, from 110 for 2, MI lost steam courtesy Krishnappa Gowtham’s 33 not out. It was a nerve-wrecker, and RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane pointed out the same during the post-match conference. He praised Archer’s positive mindset which helped changing the course of the match, and gave hints on RR’s team combination going forward.

The way forward?

Rahane told, “I still can’t believe what happened (about the close finish). I just want to give credit to my bowlers for the way they came back after 14 overs because it looked like they’d get to 180-190. In the time-out the plan was to take it deep (talking about the chase). We knew we had hitters like (Heinrich) Klassen and Jofra (Archer). Rahul (Tripathi) batted really well at the top of the order last year (for Rising Pune Supergiant), and that is the combination we wanted to go in with. It looks like we’ll stick with that.”

A word on Archer

“We are happy to see Jofra back, his spell and the way Jaydev bowled in the middle overs was the key. He’s always thinking about wickets and when you do that your mindset is always positive,” concluded a relived skipper Rahane.

Archer accounted for the wickets of Pandya brothers, and Mitchell McClenaghan by hitting the right channels and mixing it up smartly at the death overs. He single-handedly restricted MI to below 170 when they were on course for 200-210.