Mumbai Square at Home But Royals Through to the Playoffs

Date: 15th May 2013, 8 pm

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Toss: Rajasthan Royals, Bowling

Result: Mumbai Indians won by 14 runs

MoM: Aditya Tare

On the road to the top spot for the playoffs, the Rajasthan Royals came close with a valiant effort by Brad Hodge and Stuart Binny but eventually fell short by 14 runs against the Mumbai Indians.

After being asked to bat first, Mumbai were off and away courtesy a cameo from Glen Maxwell before being struck leg before to Shane Watson. Aditya Tare though made the most of his rare opportunity by taking a leap from Maxwell. He played fearlessly and with a lot of luck as a few edges found the gap and Rahul Dravid dropped an easy chance at short mid-wicket when he was on 24.

Tare rode his luck and made the most of his second chance bringing up his 50 off just 30 deliveries. Mumbai brought up their hundred in the twelfth over that also saw the dismissal of Dinesh Karthik. Kevon Cooper finally broke through Tare's patience via a slower delivery. Pollard and Sharma quickly joined in to hammer Pravin Tambe who had bowled with a lot of heart and promise but little success.

The Royals then pulled back quite a bit when James Faulkner dismissed Rohit Sharma. Cooper then dismissed the mighty Pollard with an exceptional run out to minimise the threat of the big score. MI finished with 166/8; something the Royals would have been comfortable with.

The start though was horrendous as Dravid was dismissed after an exquisite flick for four off his pad. He looked to pull a bouncer from Johnson and was given out after the ball missed his bat by quite a distance. Dented by the early blow, the innings didn't quite get the steam it needed even though Faulkner was sent up to get after the bowling. He skied one off Kulkarni while Samson mistimed another to Ojha. Kulkarni followed immediately with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane and the innings was in tatters at 28/4.

Much like the previous game against CSK, it was now down to Shane Watson and Stuart Binny. Watson had quite a welcome with a mouthful from Pollard. Malinga tried to unsettle Watson with a few short ones but ended up on the receiving end with two pulls being slammed for six. Watson finally succumbed to the asking rate when he was caught off Ojha. Binny though continued to play aggressive and positive but lost another partner when the struggling Dishant Yagnik fell to Harbhajan.

Brad Hodge was reserved until then by Dravid and coach Paddy Upton but the asking was almost up to 11 an over. With the asking slowly but surely surging beyond 12, Hodge needed to stir things up. Ohja bowled the sixteenth and Hodge took him on intelligently for four boundaries to bring the asking to a more realistic one. However, Sharma had two overs from Malinga and one each from Johnson and Kulkarni up his sleeve. He'd stacked up his bowlers really well and that ensured the target was taller than what it already was. Johnson and Malinga's overs went for 7 and 5 respectively, which meant 33 were required from the final two. A good over of just 10 meant the task of 23 in the last over look beyond for even the likes of Hodge and Binny; the Royals eventually falling short by 14 runs.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai Indians: 166/8 (20) - Aditya Tare 59 (37b, 8x4, 1x6), Glen Maxwell 23 (17b, 3x6), S Watson 2/30 (4)

Rajasthan Royals: 152/7 (20) - Brad Hodge 39 (27b, 7x4), Stuart Binny 37* (29b, 3x4, 1x6), Dhawal Kulkarni 2/21 (4)

Halla Bol!

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