Royals win Rajasthan Royals won the battle of nerves on Sunday as they beat Mumbai Indians by 3 wickets in a closely-fought encounter in the Indian Premier League.
Chasing 168 for victory, Rajasthan lost their top three very early before Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes resurrected the run chase with a 72-run partnership. Royals win
Stokes fell at a crucial juncture in the match, dismissed on 40 by Hardik Pandya but Samson carried on to add another 15 runs with Jos Buttler before falling on 52 to Jasprit Bumrah, who then removed Buttler off the very next ball to bring Mumbai back in the game. Royals win
With 43 needed in the last 21 balls and with 4 wickets in hand, Gowtham got together with debutant Jofra Archer to add 33 runs in just 14 balls. Royals win
Hardik Pandya needed to defend 10 runs in the final over and he started off brilliantly by removing Archer with his first ball. Royals win
That left the responsibility of scoring all the runs on the shoulders of Gowtham who smacked a boundary and a six to get the Royals over the line with just 2 balls to spare. The 29-year-old finished unbeaten on 33 from 11 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
“I still can’t believe what happened. I just want to give credit to my bowlers for the way they came back after 14 overs because it looked like they’d get to 180-190. But in the end KG’s knock was unbelievable.
“We knew we had hitters like Jos (Buttler), Ben (Stokes), (Heinrich) Klassen and Jofra (Archer) who could hit the ball a long way. We knew that we were always just two big shots away. Rahul batted really well at the top of the order last year, and that is the combination we wanted to go in with. It looks like we’ll still continue with that,” Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane said at the post-match presentation.
The win helped the Royals register their third win in the tournament and clinch 2 crucial points. They are now fifth in the points table while Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai is placed seventh.
“We are happy to see Jofra back, his spell and the way Jaydev and Dhawal bowled in the middle overs was the key. Jofra can bowl at 140+ and his pace and accuracy was amazing. He’s always thinking about wickets and when you do that your mindset is always positive which is the way to go about,” a relieved Rahane added.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians rode half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan to post a challenging total of 167/7 after being put into bat by Ajinkya Rahane.
Coming together after the early departure of Mumbai opener Evin Lewis, Yadav and Kishan put on an excellent batting display to add 129 runs between them off 82 deliveries.
Yadav scored a whirlwind knock of 72 runs, smashing six boundaries and three hits into the stands during his 47-ball stay in the middle.
Kishan posted a steady 58 off 42 balls which included four boundaries and three sixes.
For Rajasthan, young West Indies pacer Jofra Archer was the most successful bowler with figures of 3/22.
Fellow pacer Dhawal Kulkarni returned 2/32 while Jaidev Unadkat also got a wicket.