With a 57-run victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday, the Mumbai Indians (MI) managed to break their jinx as this was their first win over the Men in Pink since IPL 2015. It was certainly an all-around effort from the four-time champions that completely annihilated Steven Smith & Co in Abu Dhabi.
Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack dominated Royals’ batters from the very moment. Jasprit Bumrah easily dominated the unorthodox Steve Smith (6), while Trent Boult sent back Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson for zeroes, all in the first three overs with the score being 12/3.
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Mahipal Lomror, who was the highest run-getter for Rajasthan Royals in the previous outing, got dismissed while looking to pull the leggie Rahul Chahar’s delivery on the leg side.
From that point onwards, it was all on English cricketer Jos Buttler to come up with a herculean exhibition to chase the mammoth total. He hammered 44-ball 70 comprising 4 fours and 5 sixes, but in the flow, he couldn’t resist smacking James Pattinson over long-on, only to be taken out by Pollard in what was possibly the moment that cut the chase for the Royals.
Jasprit Bumrah then wiped the Royals’ lower-middle order, and the entire unit was then eventually bowled out for 136 in 18.1 overs.
Among MI bowlers, Bumrah was the standout performer for his figures of 4-0-20-4, followed by James Pattinson (2/19) and Trent Boult (2/26).
Mumbai Indians’ middle-order fire in the slog overs
Earlier in the day, Mumbai Indians cruised their way to 193 in 20 overs; credits to Suryakumar Yadav (79*, 47b) for laying the foundation and Hardik Pandya (30*,19b) for his blistering cameo in the slog overs.
The opening duo of Quinton de Kock (23) and Rohit Sharma (35) capitalized well during the field restrictions, scoring 41 runs in 4 overs as they smashed the likes of Ankit Rajpoot and Jofra Archer. However, a clever move by Steve Smith witnessed 19-year-old Kartik Tyagi coming into the attack in the 5th over and getting the wood on the Protea cricketer.
Suryakumar Yadav then forged a 39-run partnership and while Rohit was trying to settle down his feet. Leggie Shreyas Gopal, who till then had figures of 0/15 in his two overs, struck gold by first tempting Rohit to get dismissed for a lofted shot on long-on, then dismissing young Ishan Kishan for a golden duck in the next delivery as he tried to play at extra cover.
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Krunal Panda (17, 19b) couldn’t add much to the total and was eventually taken care of by Jofra Archer in the 14th over.
With the scorecard now reading 117/4, MI needed a mega-partnership involving sixes and fours being hit across the park. It’s at that point, Suryakumar changed gears and, alongside Hardik Pandya stitched an unbeaten 76-run stand and ended the innings with individual run-tallies of 79* and 30*, respectively, and taking the team to a defendable total of 193.
Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’ for his 47-ball 79* comprising 11 fours and 2 sixes.
Mumbai Indians are now back atop the points table with 4 wins in 6 matches, 8 points, and an NRR of +1.488. The Men in Blue will now gear up for the match against Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 11 in Abu Dhabi.
Here’s how the Twitterati reacted to Mumbai Indians’ victory over Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi –