Navi Mumbai:The underdogs played like the underdogs for once. Rajasthan Royals' thoroughly ordinary presentation with the bat ended their five-match winning streak in the IPL. Mumbai Indians used the home conditions well to chase down their paltry target of 104 with time and seven wickets to spare, here at the DY Patil Sports Academy on Wednesday night.
Put in to bat by Shaun Pollock, Rajasthan were coasting at 74-2 in the ninth over. Thereafter, they imploded to lose eight wickets for just 29 runs. Ashish Nehra led the wicket takers with 3-13, while Mumbai's other seamers combined well, cleverly mixing slower ones and bouncers to get knock off Rajasthan's batsmen in quick succession. Mumbai keeper Yogesh Takawale also took four dismissals in the innings, an IPL record.
With Sanath Jayasuriya and Takawale adding 41 for the first wicket, Rajasthan were knocked out of the game very quickly. A few wickets notwithstanding, Robin Uthappa's 34 not out took them home in just 15.1 overs, seven balls less than what Rajasthan batted before being bowled out.
Rajasthan's innings began with the bizarre dismissal of Graeme Smith in the third over. He stepped out to drive Shaun Pollock and missed. Instead of trying to scamper back to the crease to avoid a stumping, Smith kept walking on without looking back. Takawale, who was standing up, fumbled the collection that had deflected off Smith, dropped the ball, picked it back up to complete the stumping.
The going seemed fine for Rajasthan, with Shane Watson and Swapnil Asnodkar marching on confidently, dealing in fours and sixes. The two remained the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Watson slogged across the line to Dwayne Bravo, much like Yusuf Pathan had tried against Nehra, and lost his stumps. Then, when he was required to anchor the innings, Asnodkar lofted one straight to long off even as wickets had fallen around him in similar careless fashion.
The rest of the batting read like a phone number: 5, 1, 4, 0, 7, 6, 1, 1 and 0 not out and that was that. Mumbai caught pretty much everything that came their way and the win has now revived their chances in the tournament.