Steve Smith, Rohit Sharma, Indian Premier League, IPL 2019, RR vs MI
Placed second from bottom, Rajasthan Royals‘ previous and only second win came against Mumbai Indians roughly a week ago. @ BCCI

7.51 pm: Right then, that brings us to the end of this match’s coverage. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. The second one of today’s double header is just about to get underway. Yup, it’s the Northern Derby — Delhi Capitals hosting Kings XI Punjab LIVE. From all of us here, it’s goodbye!

7.44 pm: STAT ATTACK: Rajasthan Royals become the second team to beat Mumbai Indians in four consecutive matches in the IPL after Chennai Super Kings. For a team that has had a horrible campaign, a win against Mumbai should do them a world of good. There was a lot of drama at the start with Ajinkya Rahane sacked as captain, no Jos Buttler, but Steve Smith has had an excellent day donning the captain’s hat and scoring a match-winning half-century. He anchored his chase in typical style with typical strokes.

Rajasthan Royals’ innings (TARGET: 162)

20th over: Lasith Malinga will bowl the final over, RR need 4 runs to win. What a way to get there, Binny guides it down the leg side for a boundary, RR win by 5 wickets.

19th over: Jasprit Bumrah will continue and he has STRUCK in the first delivery, trapping new batsman Ashton Turner lbw, he departs for a DUCK. Stuart Binny has joined Steve Smith in the middle. 5 runs from the over. RR 158/5 (Smith 59, Binny 3)

18th over: WICKET! Hardik Pandya comes back into the attack, and he’s unable to finish it, does Riyan Parag, but what a fine innings he has played here, he’s run out for 43. Ashton Turner joins Smith in the middle. 8 runs from the over. RR 153/4 (Smith 57, Turner 0)

17th over: Jasprit Bumrah is back into the attack. Riyan Parag, the 17-year-old, is almost reaching his fifty that will make him the IPL’s youngest ever half-centurion. Meanwhile, captaincy, comeback, Steve Smith registers a fine half-century in 40 balls, his 7th IPL fifty. 8 from the over. RR 145/3 (Smith 50, Parag 42)

Strategic timeout!

16th over: It’s Slinga time, yes, Lasith Malinga is back into the attack. Riyan Parag with a SMASHING BOUNDARY to deep extra cover, he’s been scoring much more of the runs as compared to Smith. 9 runs from the over. RR 137/3 (Smith 43, Parag 41)

15th over: Rahul Chahar comes back into the attack and Riyan Parag welcomes him with a SIX. 10 runs from this over. RR 128/3 (Smith 41, Parag 34)

14th over: Hardik Pandya will continue. He’s keeping it really tight, does Hardik, but Riyan Parag somehow finds a way to score a BOUNDARY, he’s got two of them already in this over. 10 runs from the over. RR 118/3 (Smith 39, Parag 26)

13th over: Jasprit Bumrah has been brought back into the attack. Brilliant over by Boom, boom! 5 runs from it. RR 108/3 (Smith 38, Parag 17)

12th over: Hardik Pandya comes back into the attack. 100 comes up in 11.1 overs, need 62 more runs to win. 4 from the over. RR 103/3 (Smith 35, Parag 16)

11th over: Krunal Pandya has come back into the attack. He’s gone for 9 runs, which also included a BOUNDARY by Riyan Parag, promising stuff from him. RR 99/3 (Smith 34, Parag 13)

10th over: Rahul Chahar will continue and he’s bowled an excellent over, just 4 from it. RR 90/3 (Smith 31, Parag 7)

9th over: Mayank Markande will continue. 2 BOUNDARIES from this over, one each by Smith and new batsman Riyan Parag. 9 from the over. RR 86/3 (Smith 30, Parag 4)

8th over: WICKET! Rahul Chahar will continue and HE HAS DONE IT AGAIN, with the big wicket of Sanju Samson, who comes down the ground, but misses it totally to give Pollard an  easy catch. Samson departs for an explosive 35 off just 19 balls. Ben Stokes has been BOWLED for a DUCK! 2 runs and 2 wickets, Rahul Chahar has turned this match around. RR 77/3 (Smith 25, Riyan Parag 0)

7th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Mayank Markande comes into the attack to bowl his legspinners and Steve Smith has CLOBBERED this one for a MAXIMUM over wide long-on. Sanju Samson registered a SIX, they are really bossing this run-chase. 15 from the over. RR 75/1 (Samson 35, Smith 23)

Strategic timeout!

6th over: Slinga is back into the attack to bowl the final over of the Powerplay. Steve Smith fires a cracking BOUNDARY that brings up the 50 in 5.3 overs. The Australian smoked another BOUNDARY through backward point. Smith’s got a move on here. 12 runs from this over. RR 60/1 (Samson 28, Smith 15)

5th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Jasprit Bumrah has been introduced into the attack and he concedes just 4 runs to pull things back. RR 48/1 (Samson 27, Smith 4)

4th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Rahul Chahar, the legspinner, comes into the attack and Rahane welcomes him with 2 successive BOUNDARIES. But Chahar has the last laugh, he’s got the breakthrough! Invites the batsman to come forward and Rahane chips it straight to Suryakumar Yadav at cover. He departs for 12. Steve Smith is the new batsman. 13 runs from the over. RR 44/1 (Samson 26, Steve Smith 1)

3rd over: BOWLING CHANGE: Lasith Malinga comes into the attack. And Mumbai Indians have lost a review, went for one against Rahane, but the batsman survived. Meanwhile, the BOUNDARIES keep coming, this one comes leg byes, De Kock apologies for it. 7 from the over. RR 31/0 (Samson 22, Rahane 4)

2nd over: So, the Pandya brothers will share the new ball. Krunal Pandya has come into the attack. Sanju Samson has taken on the Pandya brothers! He makes room for himself and smashes this one straight over the bowler’s head. Samson’s dealing only with BOUNDARIES, 15 runs off this over. RR 24/0 (Samson 21, Rahane 3)

1st over: Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson will open the innings. Hardik Pandya has the new ball. Samson has got off the mark with a boundary and he has made it TWO IN TWO. 9 runs from the over. RR 9/0 (Samson 8, Rahane 1)

Mumbai Indians’ innings (161/5)

Summary: The sluggish surface notwithstanding, Mumbai Indians have managed to post a decent score specially after losing their skipper early at the start. Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav’s 97-run partnership laid the foundation. Hardik Pandya wasn’t at his best, but he had the best strike-rate. For all the three catches that Jofra Archer dropped, he was brilliant in the death. With Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah in MI’s line-up, this target should be quite challenging. Stay tuned for the run-chase in a few moments from now.

5.56 pm: Here’s Shreyas Gopal, who had a brilliant outing today, talking about the slow and sluggish surface.

“It’s not a bad surface, think it’s pretty ok. 160 is just around par, I think we should chase this down. A good cricketing wicket, there is some turn and grip if you bowl slow, but it’s not a bad wicket. I wanted to bowl slow and get some loop for him (Rohit). Hopefully, I wouldn’t be needed to bat tonight, if that happens, we will win.”

5.52 pm: Hats off to Jofra Archer, what a bowler at the death, he may have dropped 3 catches, but his figures 4-0-22-1, exceptional stuff. Ticket to the World Cup?

20th over: Jofra Archer to bowl the final over and he has STRUCK with the wicket of Hardik Pandya in the first ball, traps his lbw. Looks like Archer is making up for his dropped catches. Pandya departs for 23, his elder brother Krunal Pandya joins Ben Cutting in the middle. 9 runs from the over and MI finish at 161/5 (Ben Cutting 13, Krunal Pandya 2)

19th over: Jaydev Unadkat will continue. Another one dropped by Jofra Archer, third dropped catch by Archer! This is a disastrous day for him. Hardik Pandya capitalises the next delivery, clobbering it for a SIX straight over the bowler’s head. 19 from the over. MI 152/4 (Hardik Pandya 23, Ben Cutting 6)

18th over: Jofra Archer will continue and Hardik Pandya welcomes him with a BOUNDARY over backward square leg. Archer seems to have hurt his finger, physio on the ground, but he seems to be fine. Excellent over, just 5 runs from it. MI 133/4 (Hardik Pandya 8, Ben Cutting 4)

17th over: Jaydev Unadkat comes back into the attack. Jofra Archer drops his second catch of the match! de Kock scored 65, how much will Hardik Pandya score? BUT UNADKAT STRIKES, he does it all by himself, cleans up Kieron Pollard with a slower one, he’s pumped. Pollard departs for 10. 14 runs from this over. Ben Cutting has joined Hardik Pandya in the middle. MI 128/4 (Hardik Pandya 3, Ben Cutting 4)

Strategic timeout!

16th over: Jofra Archer comes back into the attack and he’s bowled an excellent over, just 2 runs coming from it, GOLD at this stage. MI 114/3 (Hardik Pandya 2, Kieron Pollard 1)

15th over: Shreyas Gopal will continue and has has STRUCK with the dangerman De Kock, who departs for a well-played 65. Back-t0-back wickets for Rajasthan. Kieron Pollard is the new batsman in. 3 runs and the wicket in this over. MI 112/3 (Hardik Pandya 1, Kieron Pollard 0)

14th over: Stuart Binny is back into the attack and Suryakumar SMASHES a much-needed boundary. He’s scoring at a snail’s pace. WICKET! Binny has STRUCK and SKY’s really slow innings comes to an end, he departs for 34 off 33.  Hardik Pandya has joined De Kock in the middle. 7 runs from this over. MI 109/2 (De Kock 63, Hardik Pandya 0)

13th: Shreyas Gopal will continue. Stumping being checked upstairs and De Kock is safe. The 100 is up for Mumbai Indians. 5 runs from the over. MI 102/1 (De Kock 62, Suryakumar 28)

12th over: Jaydev Unadkat comes back into the attack. BOOM! De Kock takes the aerial route! Right in the slot and this has been SMASHED for a SIX. 10 runs from the over. MI 97/1 (De Kock 60, Suryakumar 25)

11th over: Shreyas Gopal has come back into the attack and he concedes 6 runs. MI 87/1 (De Kock 52, Suryakumar 23)

10th over: Dhawal Kulkarni comes back into the attack with MI motoring along well. De Kock brings up his FIFTY with a BOUNDARY, third of this season, second against Rajasthan. 9 runs from this over. MI 81/1 (De Kock 50, Suryakumar 19)

Strategic timeout!

9th over: Riyan Parag will continue and Suryakumar Yadav breaks the shackles. Picks up the carrom ball, clears the front leg and smoked it through the line straight back over the bowler. 10 runs from the over. MI 72/1 (De Kock 43, Suryakumar 18)

8th over: Stuart Binny back into the attack and he was going good until De Kock smashed a BOUNDARY in the last ball. 9 from the over. MI 62/1 (De Kock 41, Suryakumar 10)

7th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Riyan Parag comes into the attack to bowl his legspinners and he concedes 7 runs. MI 53/1 (De Kock 36, Suryakumar 6)

6th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Jaydev Unadkat comes into the attack to bowl the final over of the Powerplay. 8 from the over including a BOUNDARY, although leg byes, but it’s poor bowling from the left-arm pacer. MI 46/1 (De Kock 33, Suryakumar 2)

5th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Jofra Archer comes into the attack. OUCH! De Kock has been hit in the box, takes his time before facing the next ball. De Kock ain’t gonna stop smashing those BOUNDARIES, he drills this one over cover. 6 runs from this over. MI 38/1 (De Kock 32, Suryakumar 1)

4th over: Dhawal Kulkarni to continue and he has been welcomed with a BOUNDARY by De Kock. The South African glovesman has smashed a hat-trick of BOUNDARIES and follows it up with a MASSIVE SIX over backward square leg. He has got a move on here! 19 runs from this over. MI 32/1 (De Kock 26, Suryakumar 1)

3rd over: SPIN INTRODUCED! Shreyas Gopal comes into the attack and the move has WORKED! Gopal has got the BIG WICKET of the MI captain Rohit Sharma, the wrong ‘un does the trick, pushes it straight back to the bowler does Rohit. He departs for 5. Suryakumar Yadav has joined De Kock in the middle. Brilliant over, 7 runs and the wicket. MI 13/1 (De Kock 7, Suryakumar Yadav 1)

2nd over: Dhawal Kulkarni will share the new ball with Binny. It is a slow wicket as expected. Both openers are finding it hard to play their strokes. Dhawal concedes 3 runs. MI 6/0 (De Kock 5, Rohit 1)

1st over: Stuart Binny has the new ball as MI openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock make their way out in the middle. Tidy over from Binny, just 3 runs from it. MI 3/0 (De Kock 3, Rohit 0)

3.47 pm: With Steve Smith departing for national duty in the next few days, does a leadership change makes sense? We want to hear from you.

3.37 pm: Here are the playing XIs of both sides:

RR: Sanju Samson(w), Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith(c), Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni

MI: Rohit Sharma(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Rahul Chahar, Mayank Markande, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

3.34 pm: Captains have their say at the toss:

Steve Smith: “We’ll bowl first as I’m not sure of the wicket, what it’s going to do. Chasing would be a good option. Ajinkya has done a terrific job in the last one and a half year. I have done a bit of leadership in the IPL, hopefully I can lead the team well. Plenty of games coming up. We got three changes, I come in for Buttler who’s gone back for the birth of his child, Stokes is back in the team and Riyag Parag comes in for Rahul Tripathi.”

Rohit Sharma: “There’s no grass on this side, bit of grass covering on the other side, looks a bit of strage this pitch. I was going to bat first as well, because we have defended well as a team. It doesn’t matter if we win games or lose games, there’s always room for improvement. There have been different individuals who have stepped up and that’s been a good thing. We’ve got one change, we are playing to the conditions. Also they’ve a lot of right handers, hence Mayank Markande comes in for Jayant Yadav.”

3.33 pm: Team updates: For Mumbai Indians, Jayant Yadav misses out and Mayank Markande makes it to the side.

3.31 pm: TOSS: Steve Smith wins toss and Rajasthan Royals have opted to field.

3.28 pm: PITCH REPORT: “Very patchy surface and spin is going to play a big factor today as there are a lot of dry areas on the wicket. Win the toss and bat first,” says Graeme Smith.

3.16 pm: More team news: Ben Stokes, who missed the last match due to injury, looks to be a doubtful starter today as well. Mumbai Indians look to be a settled outfit and expect not many changes.

3.14 pm: Both teams have arrived at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. TOSS in a few moments from now…

3.09 pm: Latest team news coming in and first up, it’s from the Rajasthan Royals camp. MASSIVE BLOW for RR, no Jos Buttler today as he has flown home to be with his wife Louise for the birth of their first child, according to a tweet from Test Match Special.

3.04 pm: Rajasthan are in desperate need of a win and they have gone all out to ensure that they win this match against Mumbai Indians, including sacking their captain Ajinkya Rahane. (READ: Steve Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane as Rajasthan Royals captain). Will a change in leadership work for the inaugural champions? Good afternoon and stay tuned as we build up to the first of Super Satruday’s contests.

PREVIEW

Placed second from bottom, Rajasthan Royals‘ previous and only second win came against Mumbai Indians roughly a week ago – also their opponents on Saturday in Match 36 of the IPL 2019. Since then, the Royals have gone down against the Kings XI Punjab while MI have registered consecutive wins. With six matches left, the Royals will be keen to seek resurgence now more than ever, but in MI, they face a formidable opponents even though the three-time IPL winners lost the previous encounter by four wickets.

Jos Buttler and Shreyas Gopal had starred the first time these two sides faced each other. But here’s where it gets tricky for the Royals. Like the Delhi Capitals, the Royals have a pretty abysmal record at home as well. At the Sawai Man Singh stadium so far, the Royals have lost three matches barring the win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Buttler and Gopal have led the side defiantly while the likes of Steve Smith and Ben Stokes haven’t quite lived up to the reputation. It will be a crucial test for the Royals’ middle order against a fiery MI bowling attack as they try and stage an inspiring turnaround here onward.

Speaking of turnaround, it’s something that MI have forged a pretty stunning one this season. After missing out the Playoffs last season, MI have been at their dominating best and it reflects through their position on the points table. With a resounding win over the Capitals, Mumbai have leapfrogged them to be placed second on the leaderboard. The opening pair is finally getting them the starts, the middle-lower order is firing more often than not, and in each match, a new name is standing up to the challenge and making the most of the opportunity.

With one leg on the Playoff door, Mumbai are firm favourites to go top with another win – they have a better run rate than table-toppers Chennai Super Kings. As for the for the Royals, well, time is slipping quickly.