IPL 2015: Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets at Ahmedabad, Stars and flops

Rajasthan Royals (RR) continued their winning run in the eighth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), as they made it three in a row and this time against the star studded Mumbai Indians. RR’s bowling rocked MI in the first seven overs, MI almost lost the game in the first half of their batting. After winning the toss, Rohit Sharma decided to bat first with the intention of setting a huge target for the Royals to chase, which eventually didn’t happen on a pitch which hardly had any purchase for the bowlers.

Earlier MI made a sturdy start, with both their openers, Aron Finch and Parthiv Patel, going strong in the first two overs where they scored 21 but lost their way completely after Aaron Finch pulled out a hamstring while running a cheeky single. Rohit Sharma failed to make an impact for the second consecutive time as he nicked one of Stuart Binny straight into the safe hands of Steven Smith. Unmukt Chand squandered a golden opportunity to make an impression in the shorter format as they lost most of their recognized batsmen before the completion of seventh over.

Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson weathered the early storm to rescue the MI innings from a delicate situation, before living up to their reputation The duo added 104 runs for the fourth wicket in 55 deliveries, which gave the MI bowlers a fighting chance, eventually this effort proved to be futile as MI went on to lose the match. MI, however managed to get a decent score of 164 in their 20 overs.

The target of 165 still needed some efforts but RR’s openers provided a steady start and the momentum was built. Sanju Samson got a decent start but failed to convert it into a big score. While Rahane tried to play an anchoring role, Smith on the other-hand came out all guns blazing. After Rahane got dismissed while attempting a big stroke against Shreyas Gopal, Deepak Hooda chipped in and played a small little cameo which eventually proved very crucial as it provided impetus to their run chase. Smith who scored 79 runs from 53 deliveries walked away with the man-of-the-match award.

Turning Point: On the first ball of the fourteenth over, Shreyas Gopal got the prize wicket of Ajinkya Rahane, who was all set to explode after spending a reasonable time on the pitch. In came Deepak Hooda who played a short cameo of 13 off just three deliveries, before getting out to a Laisth Malinga’s deadly yorker, which knocked out his leg stump while he was trying to shuffle on the crease. The run chase was getting a bit difficult as RR needed more 73 runs of 41 deliveries, but Hooda’s two consecutive sixes reduced the ball-run margin considerably.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai Indians 166 for five in 20 overs [Kieron Pollard 70(34), Corey Anderson 50(38), Tim Southee 4-0-46-1, Chris Morris 4-0-34-1, Dhawal Kulkarni 3-0-15-1] lost to Rajasthan Royals 165 for three in 19.1 overs [Ajinkya Rahane 46(39), Steven Smith 79(53), Vinay Kumar 3-0-13-1] by seven wickets