RR inflict more misery on beleaguered MI


Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal and Riyan Parag extended Rajasthan Royals’ winning run, and in the process sullied Mumbai Indians’ quest for their first points of the season. MI marked their first home game of IPL 2024 with a humbling defeat, triggered by a batting collapse and a lowly total of 125 for 9, which RR chased down with 4.3 overs and six wickets to spare.

Trent Boult messes up MI in the PowerPlay

The New Zealand pacer did what he does best – picking a wicket in the first over of the innings. He, went a step further to pick two as he had Rohit Sharma caught behind, and then trapped Naman Dhir leg before. With that, he took his tally of first-over wickets in the IPL to 25. The enormity of this feat is established by the fact that no other bowler has picked more than eight.

MI straightaway used their impact substitute to bring on Dewald Brevis for Dhir, in the hope of arresting the early, shocking slide. That, however, didn’t pan out as the South African became the third batter to be out for a duck – outside edging a length ball to Nandre Burger at short third.

Burger didn’t stop at being just an ally to picking wickets as he joined in on the fun to send Ishan Kishan packing with a perfect length ball. The left-hander tried to push at it but couldn’t middle it and ended up nicking it behind to Sanju Samson.

Wankhede’s heel to the rescue?


Hardik Pandya’s stint as MI captain at the Wankhede began with the home fans booing him at the toss. Such was the extent of their displeasure, that it invoked a rather awkward intervention from Sanjay Manjrekar at the toss, asking the fans to ‘behave’.

Hardik walked out to bat in the fourth over and slapped a couple of fours off Burger in the sixth. 29 runs came in the three overs after the PowerPlay, with 18 off them coming from the MI skipper in just 10 balls. Hardik fell to Yuzvendra Chahal when he mistimed a big hit to long on, falling for 34 off 21, 24 of which came in boundaries.

What followed?

More RR domination.

Shimron Hetmyer flew to his right at backward point to send Piyush Chawla back in the 12th over. Tilak Varma, who was leading a lone fight, went after a ball outside the off-stump from Chahal and cut it to Ashwin at short third. Chahal continued to float the ball up repeatedly and found success as Gerald Coetzee became his third victim of the game, hitting one straight to Hetmyer at cover. Chahal finished with figures of 3 for 11, including 16 dot balls and just one four.

Avesh Khan and Burger conceded just three runs off the 18th and 19th over, before Jasprit Bumrah put away a short ball in the final over to push MI just past 120.

Anything eventful about the chase?

MI’s 17-year-old fast bowler Kwena Maphaka got his first wicket – of Yashasvi Jaiswal in the opening over. With so little to defend, Hardik Pandya used his ace Jasprit Bumrah for half the overs in the PowerPlay, but the RR duo of Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler just about escaped unscathed. Akash Madhwal though, did the damage on either side of the PowerPlay. He first had Samson playing one on and then Buttler top-edging a short ball to Chawla at fine leg.At 48/3, the game felt well and truly alive.

Was it, though?

Not quite. Riyan Parag, RR’s most recent batting constant, brought his calmness and confidence to the middle and steered his side out of the early chaos. He started by upper-cutting a short ball from Gerald Coetzee over the ‘keeper, and then pulled another for consecutive fours. With the asking rate under six, he and the promoted R Ashwin didn’t take any risks to push the scoring ahead.

They brought the equation down to 38 off 48 when Madhwal returned to pick his third of the night. A leading edge off Ashwin’s bat ballooned up on the off-side where Tilak Varma got under it for a simple catch.

Parag however, carried on gnawing at the target smartly. He put away a full ball from Bumrah in his fourth over but played out the rest of it in the company of impact substitute and debutant Shubham Dubey. He then slog-swept Chawla for a six, before wrapping up the chase with 6, 6, 4 off Coetzee, finishing with an unbeaten 54 off 39 balls.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 125/9 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 34; Trent Boult 3-22, Yuzvendra Chahal 3-11) lost to Rajasthan Royals 127/4 in 15.3 overs (Riyan Parag 54*; Akash Madhwal 3-20) by 6 wickets

What next?

MI will stay back in Mumbai and try again to break their duck when they host Delhi Capitals on April 7. RR head home to take on RCB on April 6. (Cricbuzz);


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