In-form Jos Buttler (94) hit his fifth successive half-century as Rajasthan Royals brushed aside Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in a key Indian Premier League (IPL) clash to stay alive in the Play-offs race, at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night. Royals Chased 169 with two overs to spare as Buttler batted with a lot of responsibility. Buttler added 95 runs for the second wicket with captain Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 36) as he carried his bat to steer his side past the finish line. While other batsmen struggled to time the ball, Buttler did it with remarkable ease as he punished the home bowlers with five sixes and nine fours in his entertaining 53-ball knock. Playing big shots is not Rahane's strength but he struggled to rotate the strike. Butter though, kept the asking rate under control with his tremendous hitting. (Scorecard)
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals produced a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Mumbai Indians to 168/6. Put into bat, Mumbai were off to steady start with Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav coming up with an opening partnership of 87 runs off 64 balls. Lewis, who narrowly survived being caught by Stuart Binny in the third over, made good use of the reprieve to blast his way to 60 runs off 42 deliveries. His quick-fire knock included four boundaries and as many sixes. Suryakumar, who also got an early let-off, being dropped by Krishna Gowtham off Dhawal Kulkarni early in the second over, went on to post a steady 38 off 31 deliveries.
Although the opening duo gave the hosts a strong platform for a big total, the rest of the Mumbai batsmen failed to capitalise. The Rajasthan bowlers did well to bag five wickets over the next six overs to make a strong comeback. Jofra Archer was the most impressive of the bunch, giving away a mere 16 runs in his four overs while claiming the crucial wickets of Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma.
Fellow pacer Ben Stokes bowled well in the late stages to return figures of 2/26. Indian pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni also got a wicket each as Mumbai seemed in real danger of failing to cross the 150-run mark. However, Hardik Pandya helped the hosts to a competitive total with a late charge, scoring 36 runs off 21 balls before holing out to Stokes in the penultimate ball of the innings.
When and Where to Watch Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR)
India: TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD (English, Hindi, Tamil). Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2. Live Streaming: Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports.
Bangladesh: TV: GTV and Star Sports.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Live Online.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 1. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport 2. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Play.
Singapore: TV: Star Cricket.