Rajasthan Royals squandered a chance to top the points-table with a 14-run loss to Mumbai Indians but the team fought hard till the very end, showing their resilience despite limited resources at disposal. What is worrying for Rajasthan is their win-loss record away from home at 2-5 but that has been the norm in 2013. Royals' skipper Rahul Dravid, though, was satisfied with the effort of his players.
"We fought hard.. even while bowling, despite Mumbai's start. While batting, 160 odd was gettable and with 4 overs to go we just needed 45. It was a great effort by Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge at the end."
Dravid though, did not mince any words in applauding the effort by Mumbai's bowlers. Mitchell Johnson (2/23) and Dhawal Kulkarni (2/21) were immaculate at the top - removing Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner and Sanju Samson - while Lasith Malinga 1/35 was exceptional at the death.
"Credit goes to Malinga (refering to the 18th over which cost just 5 runs). Overall Mumbai bowled really well."
The former India No.3 was also impressed with the team's fighting spirit - Rajasthan were reduced to 58/5 and then came within shouting distance of a win.
Dravid, who was unlucky to have been given out by umpire Sudhir Asnani, for once, was seen agitated after the dismissal. At the post-match presentation though, he was his usual calm and collected self.
"I have been lucky too so many times, even in international cricket. You cool down you realise that's part of the game."
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma on the other hand was extremely happy on having achieved the 'perfect eight' at home.
"We knew the home conditions well and the plans were executed really well by guys. 166 was not huge but we were aggressive from the first ball and we have been so all the while this season."
He was also all praise for Aditya Tare, whose 59 was the foundation stone for the victory.
"All credit to Aditya Tare.. We knew he was ready for this game.. The coaches have been working hard with him."
Tare, who was playing for Mumbai in the IPL after 3 long years, was grateful to his team helping him out, despite having to stay on the bench.
"It was difficult time for me sitting on bench all this while. I was nervous at the beginning but am grateful to my teammates.. Rohit (Sharma) and John Wright (coach) were helpful.
Tare also thanked his Ranji side, Mumbai, and Kiran More, to make him realise his potential as a batsman and a wicketkeeper.
"I always want to improve my game.. The previous Ranji trophy season helped me a lot. Thanks to Kiran More too for helping me in my wicketkeeping skills."