Mumbai Indians register a crucial win over Rajasthan Royals at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad. Follow highlights of the match: (Scorecard | Text Commentary | Points Table | Fixtures)
19:40 IST: QUOTES
Rohit Sharma: (Kieron) Pollard's catch was amazing, we've seen him take a lot of good ones. It was a great win for us. We don't want to look too far ahead. We just want to win the remaining games. The wicket was turning but credit goes to the batsmen for playing well. The start was very good, they (Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey) are quality players and today was a good day for us.
Shane Watson: We misread the conditions. Mumbai have world-class spinners. (Pragyan) Ojha and Harbhajan (Singh) made it difficult for us. Mumbai batted very well, we thought the wicket would stay the same.
Michael Hussey: It was good fun out there, I was enjoying the opening partnership with Lendl, he's a good player and a great striker of the ball. We were saying no twos, we just wanted to hit fours or sixes. Unfortunately we got out in the same over but that total was a very good one on that pitch. Hopefully we can have more wins.
19:24 IST: That's that! All-round Mumbai Indians register a thrilling 25-run victory over Rajasthan Royals to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chasing 179 for victory, Rajasthan were restricted to 153/8. Karun Nair (48) kept the home team in hunt but fell short of partners. Brad Hodge (40) and James Faulkner (31*) entertained with some lusty blows but it was too late for them. For Mumbai, Krishmar Santokie, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Shreyas Gopal picked up two wickets each.
19:18 IST: WICKET! Brad Hodge falls after a fiery 40 off 30 balls. Rajasthan 144/8 (18.5 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
19:12 IST: Hodge and Faulkner have added 62 from 38 balls. Game is still on. Rajasthan 138/7 (18.3 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:59 IST: Brad Hodge and James Faulkner are at the crease, but can they turn it around? Rajasthan 102/7 (16 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:46 IST: WICKET! Karun Nair, who was waging a lone battle, is back in the hut. Goes down the track but skies to Krishmar Santokie at long off.Â Rajasthan 75/7 (12 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:42 IST: WICKET! Shreyas Gopal gets his second wicket. Stuart Binny goes down the track only to miss a widish delivery. Wicketkeeper Aditya Tare does the rest. Rajasthan 69/6 (10.2 overs) vs Mumbai (178/
18:34 IST: WICKET! Ankit Sharma departs after scoring only four runs. Pulls Shreyas Gopal from outside off to deep mid wicket. Ambati Rayudu takes his third catch in the match. Rajasthan 66/5 (8.3 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:30 IST: WICKET! Kieron Pollard takes an unbelievable catch at long on! Kevon Cooper departs after scoring 5. Harbhajan gets the wicket. Rajasthan 61/4 (7.4 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:18 IST: WICKET! Krishmar Santokie joins the party. Sanju Samson slices to Ambati Rayudu, who runs behind at cover-point to complete the catch. Rajasthan 42/3 (5.3 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:12 IST: WICKET! Pragyan Ojha gets his second wicket. This time Shane Watson mistimes a short-pitched delivery outside off to mid-wicket where Ambati Rayudu makes no mistake. Rajasthan 38/2 (4.2 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
18:03 IST: WICKET! Pragyan Ojha strikes. Unmukt Chand goes on the back foot to pull a short-pitched delivery to Michael Hussey at deep square leg. Rajasthan 17/1 (2.3 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
17:59 IST: Krishmar Santokie and Jasprit Bumrah open Mumbai's bowling attack. Karun Nair hits Santokie for a six and a four. Rajasthan 17/0 (2 overs) vs Mumbai (178/3)
17:39 IST: Rohit Sharma hits a fiery 40 off just 19 balls to power Mumbai Indians 178/3 in 20 overs against Rajasthan Royals. His innings was laced with three fours and four sixes. Earlier, Lendl Simmons (62) and Michael Hussey (56) shared 120-run opening stand for the defending champions. For Rajasthan, spinner Ankit Sharma bagged two wickets.
17:22 IST: SIX! Rohit Sharma hits Kevon Cooper for a maximum over long off. Mumbai 142/2 (17 overs)
17:13 IST: WICKET! Michael Hussey out. Ankit Sharma gets Hussey as well. This time he bowls a shorter delivery but Mr Cricket hits it straight to deep mid wicket. Mumbai 122/2 (14.5 overs)
17:10 IST: WICKET! Lendl Simmons departs. Simmons goes down the track against Ankit Sharma only to sky it to Kevon Cooper at long on. Mumbai 120/1 (14.3 overs)
16:58 IST: FIFTY! Lendl Simmons brings up his second fifty with a huge six over long on. Mumbai 104/0 (12.2 overs)
16:54 IST: FIFTY! Mike Hussey scores his 13th fifty. Mumbai 95/0 (11.3 overs)
16:50 IST: SIX! Mike Hussey hammers James Faulkner for first six of the match. What a way to start the over. Mumbai 82/0 (10.2 overs)
16:39 IST: Rajasthan are still in search of their first wicket. They have tried six different bowlers but with no success. Mumbai 64/0 (8 overs)
16:27 IST: Openers Lendl Simmons and Mike Hussey have provided a decent start to Mumbai Indians. Rajasthan have tried four bowlers so far. Mumbai 42/0 (6 overs)
16:18 IST: Dhawal Kulkarni and Ankit Sharma have kept things very tight. Lendl Simmons has looked good in his approach, while Mike Hussey is taking time to settle. Mumbai Indians 34/0 (5 overs).
16:10 IST: Four! Lendl Simmons pulls Dhawal Kulklarni for Mumbai's first four. Mumbai Indians 8/0 (2 overs).
16:09 IST: Pacer Dhawal Kulkarni joins spinner Ankit Sharma in the opening spell. Mumbai Indians 8/0 (2 overs).
16:03 IST: Spinner Ankit Sharma starts proceedings for Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai Indians 4/0 after first over.
15:48 IST: TEAMS!
Rajasthan Royals: Unmukt Chand, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Ankit Sharma, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Rajat Bhatia, Dhawal Kulkarni
Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons, Michael Hussey, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare, Harbhajan Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Krishmar Santokie, Pragyan Ojha, Jasprit Bumrah
15:38 IST: Big news is that Royals have rested Pravin Tambe. Ankit Sharma replaces him in the side. Mumbai have made two changes to their side. Shreyas Gopal in for Chidhambram Gautam.
15:36 IST: TOSS! Mumbai Indians elect to bat against Rajasthan Royals. RR skipper Watson returns from injury. Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith make way for Brad Hodge and Unmukt Chand. Mumbai replace Lasith Malinga, who is on national duty, with pacer Krishmar Santokie.
Their hopes of making the playoffs all but over, defending champions Mumbai Indians would look to upset the equations for Rajasthan Royals, who would be aiming to strengthen their position in top-four when the two sides face off in an Indian Premier League match in Ahmedabad today.
Lying second from bottom in the points, Mumbai have won just three of their 10 matches and have hardly looked or played like the defending champions. One more loss and they are out of the playoffs race this year.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, are sitting pretty on third in the table after notching up seven wins. The inaugural champions have been performing as per the expectations with some little-known players as usual contributing massively to their success.
However, Rajasthan will go into the match after a loss against Chennai Super Kings, who exposed some of their batting frailties with incisive bowling.
Barring captain Shane Watson's half-century, none of their other top-half batsmen contributed significantly as Chennai managed to hold them to a low total before chasing it down rather easily.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma is yet to strike consistent form in the tournament, which has perhaps been a major reason for the team's failure this season.
On the bowling front, the two teams, clashing for the first time this year, are more or less evenly-matched.
Mumbai have a star pace ace in Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, who is third on the highest wicket-takers' list with 16 to his credit. Rajasthan do not have a famed player to boast of even though a 42-year-old Pravin Tambe has made quite a name for himself with his performance.
Malinga Rues Letting Down "Wonderful" Mumbai Fans
They brought unprecedented cheer to their supporters last year. The tale in the ongoing Indian Premier League though has been the exact opposite for defending champions Mumbai Indians. Seventh in the points table, the team has failed to mount a fight that would give fans a reason to smile like last year - a fact acknowledged by pacer Lasith Malinga.
"Things have not clicked this year. Our fans are wonderful and it hurts when we let them down," wrote Malinga in his column for national daily. (Read more)
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Michael Hussey, Pragyan Ojha, Corey Anderson, Praveen Kumar, Josh Hazlewood, CM Gautam, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade, Marchant de Lange, Krishmar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Pavan Suyal, Sushant Marathe, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal and Lendl Simmons.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Steven Smith, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand, Ankush Bains, Vikramjeet Malik, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Deepak Hooda, Rajat Bhatia, Kevon Cooper, Iqbal Abdulla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe, Karun Nair, Dishant Yagnik.