New Delhi, April 23: In yet another last-over thriller in VIVO IPL 2018, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) defeated the Mumbai Indians (MI) by 3 wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday night. The platform for the chase of 168 was set by a partnership between Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes, after which K Gowtham polished off the chase with a cameo, the all-rounder striking a massive hit over midwicket to take his team home with 2 balls to spare.
Mumbai Indians opted to bat first and posted a competitive 167-7 riding on the back of half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. MI lost the opener Evin Lewis to the fourth ball of the match, but Yadav and Kishan snatched the initiative back and put their team on firm footing with a 129-run partnership. But after both, the set batsmen were dismissed within five runs of each other and in the space of six balls, RR pulled things back in spectacular fashion.
Ajinkya Rahane threw the stumps at the non-striker’s end with a sensational left-handed effort to catch his opposite number Rohit Sharma short of the crease, and Jofra Archer picked up three wickets in one over to deny the visitors any momentum towards the end. MI, 43-1 in the powerplay, added 92-1 in the middle overs, but could only add 32 runs (for the loss of 5 wickets) in the back end.
While the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings was decided off the final ball of the contest, with the latter prevailing by a slender margin of 4 runs. The win was the Chennai Super Kings’ fourth of the season and helped them climb to the top of the standings.
Given the opportunity of setting a target at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, CSK recovered from a slow start to post 182-3 riding on half-centuries from Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina. Deepak Chaharthen landed three blows in the first five overs to derail the host’s run-chase at the very beginning. Kane Williamson then produced one of his best IPL innings, and a late innings blitz by Yusuf Pathan brought life back into the contest, before Dwayne Bravo, who had 19 to defend off the final over & six to defend off the final ball, bowled the perfect yorker to deny the hosts.
The CSK openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis (who replaced an ill Imran Tahir) could not find the boundary until the 20th ball of the innings when the former pulled a short delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and deposited it into the stands. The very next delivery the Australian didn’t pick the slower delivery, played too early, and holed out to the short midwicket fielder. du Plessis lost balance while attempting a sweep shot to be stumped. CSK 32-2 after 7.1 overs.
Then the rescue act staged by Rayudu and Raina, who stitched together a century partnership over a period of 9.3 overs. MS Dhoni gave the innings the flourish CSK needed at the end, scoring 25 from 12 balls, which included 3 fours and a six. CSK, who were 27-1 in the powerplay, added 93 in the middle overs, and a further 62 in the final five to finish at 182-3.
Very few would have given the Sunrisers a chance to chase down 183 after being 22-3, more so without Shikhar Dhawan in their line-up. But Williamson wasn’t ready to surrender, and played a fantastic inning of 84 – made from 51 balls and studded with 5 fours and as many sixes. Opening the innings, the SRH captain cut and pulled well, and on one instance hit Ravindra Jadeja for an inside-out six. In the fifteenth over, he singled out Karn Sharma and hit him for three sixes.
Yusuf Pathan came out to bat in the eleventh over, by which time the required rate had nearly reached 12. He too started slowly, not scoring a boundary until he had faced 14 balls. Then he unleashed, hitting three sixes and a four and collecting 23 off the next six balls he faced. He collected another six at the start of the nineteenth over, and SRH were very much in business.
But the dismissals of Williamson and Yusuf (45 from 27 balls) in the space of five deliveries once again swung the momentum in favour of the visitors. Dwayne Bravo had six to defend off the final ball of the match, and Rashid Khan could only score one off the perfect yorker.
Mumbai Indians 167-7 (Suryakumar Yadav 72, Ishan Kishan 58, Jofra Archer 3-22, Dhawal Kulkarni 2-32) lost to
Rajasthan Royals 168-7 in 19.4 Overs (Sanju Samson 52, Ben Stokes 40, K Gowtham 33*, Jasprit Bumrah 2-28) by 3 wickets.