Mumbai Indians' first batting collapse of the tournament gave Rajasthan Royals a small target of 95 to chase on a dry and cracked pitch in Jaipur. Although the home team had to fight hard for their victory, it ended up being a comprehensive one.
Jaipur: Sachin Tendulkar expected conditions to be difficult for batting but he probably didn't expect that none of his batsmen would score more than 17. Mumbai started confidently with Tendulkar driving the second ball through point and Davy Jacobs punching the ball over long-on for the first six of the innings. Jacobs went three balls after that shot when he played across the line to an Amit Singh delivery that uprooted middle stump.
In the next over, Tendulkar was stumped off the bowling of Ashok Menaria to give the left-arm spinner his first wicket in Twenty20 cricket and deny the spectators the possibility of a Tendulkar versus Shane Warne special. Menaria showed confidence in flighting the ball and reading the batsmen's intentions. He was rewarded for a second time when he bowled a short delivery to Ambati Rayudu, who charged down the pitch and offered Menaria a simple return catch.
Shane Warne brought himself on and had success in his second over, inviting Rohit Sharma to drive in the air to Johan Botha on the long-off rope. Kieron Pollard scored his first run of this year's IPL with a flick through square leg and together with Andrew Symonds had to set about rebuilding the innings.
The pair lasted 33 balls before Johan Botha trapped Pollard lbw, as he completely missed the offbreak. Botha struck twice in his next over, bowling Symonds with a ball that kept low and enticing R Sathish to charge down the pitch and get stumped. The procession continued when Lasith Malinga was dismissed for one by Amit Singh.
Mumbai avoided the ignominy of being bowled out within the 20 overs as Harbhajan Singh swatted at four deliveries in the final over before finally connecting for a six. But, they finished on their lowest total in IPL history.
It was always going to be difficult to defend 95 but with an aggressive bowling attack, Mumbai may have had some hope. Lasith Malinga started in his usual toe-crushing fashion while Munaf Patel was also accurate. He got an early breakthrough with a slower ball that Rahul Dravid scooped to Tendulkar at midwicket.
Ali Murtaza, who was brought in in place of Abu Nechim, was bowling a difficult line and length and with the pitch keeping low he was almost impossible to get away. Watson and Botha saw off his first two overs and although the required-rate was never going to trouble them, they picked the balls to hit well.
Botha slog-swept Harbhajan for six while Watson hit Pollard for a straight six over his head. They handled Murtaza with greater ease in his second spell and the chase was turning into a stroll. Tendulkar brought Malinga back into the attack, and after three full balls, he banged one in short to Watson who was caught behind off an edge.
Ross Taylor joined Johan Botha and the pair concentrated on rotating the strike, which was all they needed to do. Two fuller deliveries were punished with Taylor stroking a ball through the covers for four and Botha lofting one over midwicket. Botha took Rajasthan to the brink and was bowled with just five runs left to get for the win. Rajasthan have now won 14 out of 18 home games in IPLs, with 11 of those wins coming in Jaipur.