Steven Smith’s knock outshine Kieron Pollard as Rajasthan Royals Chase 165 with Ease against Mumbai Indians

April 15 09:31 2015

mi1New Delhi, Wednesday, April 15 – At Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad, the two teams in blue shirts – Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals – were slated to contest against each other. In the midst of louder cheer from fans, Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first against RR.

Despite getting the opportunity to make a decision first, MI had a wobbly start on Tuesday as similar to their previous match where wickets kept on falling and batsmen failing to recognize what to do to spend some time on crease to accumulate considerable runs. Aaron Finch and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel arrived on the crease to kick off MI’s innings. Patel looked good as he showed confidence in hitting the ball to run for ones and twos. In his 16-run knock, 8 runs came from a couple of boundaries which were struck with great strength. Before he could have gotten any further, Dhawal Kulkarni brought his play to an end in the fourth ball of 5th over. Finch was retired hurt post adding 10 runs of 14 balls; 4 x 2. This was a big shock for Mumbai Indians who were striving for a victory after two consecutive defeats in the lately played matches of Indian Premier League 2015. Unmukt Chand had no answer for a beautiful delivery by Pravin Tambe and was out for 12 runs. It was a great opportunity for him to stand out in the difficult situation but the 22-year-old right-hand batsman did not succeed to make best use of the chance that automatically fell on his way.

Rohit Sharma poor form continued as he was out for a duck post failing to understand how to face good bowling by Stuart Binny. Steven Smith made no mistake and took an easy catch, sending MI in the trough of troubles. Thanks to Corey Anderson and the aggressive batsman Kieron Pollard’s 104-run partnership, the squad batting first were able to put a challenging 164 runs on the scoreboard after 20 overs. Anderson got a lifeline in Kulkarni’s over when the bowler bowled a no ball. Stuart Binny took the catch in deep but his efforts went in vain. RR were in serious shock as the batsman showed his natural play that makes him one of the dangerous players in this format.

Pollard stole the show as he kept sending the ball into the fences whenever possible. The attacking mode of the all-rounder helped him pocket 70 runs in just 34 balls. 7 fours and 5 biggies are sufficient to tell how he knows to capitalize the opportunity at the time of need. In Tim Southee’s last over, the 27-year-old Pollard hit 2 sixes and 2 boundaries. He couldn’t gather any run on the fifth ball and was dismissed on the final delivery. He did his bit in the best way possible. Anderson was the next man to depart after hitting a 50 in 38 balls, including 5 fours and 3 sixes. Shreyas Gopal and Jagadeesha Suchith were unbeaten at 1 and 0 run, respectively. 81 runs were scored by MI in the last five overs.

The start wasn’t excellent given Sanju Samson had to go back to the pavilion post playing 17-run inning, comprising three boundaries, when Vinay Kumar gave MI the first breakthrough. On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane was calm and composed. He displayed the kind of play which makes him different from others. With RR captain Steven Smith, he set the base for his playing XI to taste another victory. He, though, fell short of 4 runs to pocket a half-century, the opener ensured RR’s win in opposition to MI.

But the man who changed the entire story was none other than Smith who has grown bigger and bigger after each match. His unbeaten 79-run knock in 53 balls consisted of 8 fours and 1 six. Lasith Malinga showed ray of hope by taking Deepak Hooda’s wicket on 13 runs as the batsman looked dangerous with 2 sixes. However, it was too late for MI to believe they can do it in view of the fact that James Faulkner (6 runs) and Smith took RR closer to the triumph. The target was achieved with 5 balls remaining. With three victories in a row, Rajasthan Royals are leading the IPL point’s table, while the losing party is holding the last spot with 0 points. In today’s contest Delhi Daredevils will make efforts to log a victory against Kings XI Punjab since they were beaten in the earlier two matches. With one win in hand, KXIP attained two points. The tournament would enter in interesting stage as teams with maximum number of defeats will leave no stone unturned to be on the winning side, while groups holding top four ranks will not let go any chance of being ahead of the rivals. Audience is keen to see what happens next in T20 matches that are scheduled to take place at different stadiums.

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