Mumbai Indians Trump Rajasthan Royals by 8 Wickets, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Mumbai Indians move to the fifth spot in the standings with 12 points from 13 matches.
A sensational bowling performances by Nathan Coulter-Nile (4/14) and James Neesham (3/12), followed by a solid fifty by Ishan Kishan (50 off 25) powered Mumbai Indians to an 8 wicket win over Rajasthan Royals that helps them stay alive in the qualification race for the playoffs.
With this win in Sharjah, five-time champions Mumbai, who were tied on 10 points with Rajasthan and Punjab Kings before this game, levelled KKR on points (12) but are a place below them in fifth position due to an inferior net run-rate.
Chasing a paltry target for victory, openers gave Mumbai a blistering start. Rohit Sharma smashed 22 off 13 balls before being dismissed by Chetan Sakariya. However, Sharma's wicket did not hamper Mumbai's progress as Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav continued the onslaught to take MI to 56/2 after 6 overs. Mutafizur Rahman dismissed Yadav for 13 but it was too late for RR.
Eventually, an unbeaten 25-ball 50 from Kishan and Hardik Pandya (5) guided MI to an 8-wicket win in 8.2 overs to go up to 12 points and more importantly improve their net run-rate to -0.048. This was also the biggest victory for MI in terms of balls left (70).
Earlier, openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal gave Rajasthan Royals a flying start after being put into bat by Rohit Sharma. The duo smashed multiple boundaries and took Rajasthan to 26/0 in three overs.
However, Mumbai fought back with quick wickets and Coulter-Nile gave his team the breakthrough as he dismissed Jaiswal for 12. The young batter looked to cut a wide delivery short outside off stump but ended up nicking it to keeper Kishan who was picked ahead of Quinton de Kock for the match.
Jasprit Bumrah then removed the dangerous Evin Lewis (24 off 19 balls), leaving Rajasthan struggling at 41/2 in 5.3 overs.
James Neesham, playing his first match of the UAE leg of IPL 2021, then struck on his very first ball to get rid of Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson (3). Few overs later, the Kiwi all-rounder grabbed his second wicket as he dismissed Shivam Dube (3), who dragged a full and wide delivery outside off stump onto the stumps.
Thereafter, Rajasthan kept losing wickets one after another and struggled to score all throughout the innings.
All the batters -- Glenn Phillips (4), David Miller (15), Rahul Tewatia (12), Shreyas Gopal (0), Chetan Sakariya (6), who came to bat next couldn't get going and got out cheaply.
In the end, Rajasthan somehow managed to post a total of 90/9 in 20 overs. This was the lowest total at Sharjah in IPL history and the lowest for RR this season.
(With inputs from IANS)
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