Indian T20 League: Mumbai bowlers set up big win over Rajasthan

Mumbai thrived under pressure, while Rajasthan succumbed to it. The five-time winners knocked out the Sanju Samson-led side and kept their playoff hopes alive with an eight-wicket win at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Mumbai, who restricted Rajasthan for just 90, wrapped up the run chase in the ninth over. However, even a victory over Hyderabad may not be enough to seal a top-four finish for Mumbai. They would be hoping Rajasthan can do them a favor by picking up two points against Kolkata on Thursday.

The trans-Tasman duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Neesham wreaked havoc. Coulter-Nile claimed his first four-wicket haul, while Neesham sent the dangerous Samson and Shivam Dube back to the pavilion. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah claimed the key wicket of Evin Lewis, who top-scored for his team with a 19-ball 24. He bowled 18 dot balls, which is the most by a Mumbai player in the Indian T20 League.

Ishan Kishan, keen to get runs under his belt ahead of the T20 World Cup, struck a quickfire half-century. It was the 23-year-old’s first fifty in the 2021 edition. He hit three sixes and five fours, while Rohit Sharma, too, played a brisk knock.

A brief spark

After winning the toss, Mumbai put Rajasthan in to bat first. The Jaipur-based side’s fortunes depended on the in-form top-order. They made two changes from the victory against Chennai. Shreyas Gopal and Kuldip Yadav replaced Mayank Markande and Akash Singh. Meanwhile, Mumbai gave Neesham his first start in the UAE leg and recalled Kishan. All-rounder Krunal Pandya and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock were left out.

Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal resumed from where they left off against Chennai. They made 15 runs from Jayant Yadav’s first over, with Lewis hitting a maximum and two fours from Jaiswal. Bumrah saw his first ball dispatched to the boundary by the youngster. Rajasthan moved to 26/0 after three overs. Coulter-Nile came into the attack and got rid of Jaiswal, who tried to cut the ball but got a bottom-edge which Kishan collected safely behind the stumps.

The all-rounders sink Rajasthan

Lewis kept the scorecard ticking with boundaries off Coulter-Nile and Bumrah. However, the left-handed batsman was trapped in front of the stumps by Bumrah in the final over of the powerplay. The on-field umpire immediately raised his finger. Lewis called for a review, but the replays showed the ball would have hit the middle stump.

Neesham stunned the Rajasthan faithful in the stadium by removing Samson in his first ball. The Rajasthan captain sliced the ball to Jayant at point. He departed for just three. The Kiwi picked up his second wicket when Dube chopped the ball onto his stumps. It got worse for Rajasthan at the halfway mark. Coulter-Nile cleaned up Glenn Phillips to leave them reeling at 50/5.

David Miller and Rahul Tewatia offered some resistance. The left-handed duo batted for more than five overs, but the scoreboard moved at a snail pace. Neesham put an end to the 21-run stand. Tewatia got caught behind by Kishan for 12. Gopal, too, followed him after a first-ball duck. Coulter-Nile completed his four-wicket haul with the wickets of Miller and Chetan Sakariya. Meanwhile, Mustafizur Rahman took Trent Boult to cleaners and helped Rajasthan finish on 90/9 in 20 overs. It was their lowest score this season.

Mumbai in a hurry

In the opening over of the run chase, the Mumbai skipper struck a boundary off Mustafizur and slammed the ball over the bowler’s head for a six. Samson threw the ball to Gopal, who saw Rohit dispatch his second ball over the ropes. The ‘Hitman’ got a reprieve in the next ball. He came down the track, but the ball spun away. Samson couldn’t collect the ball, much to the relief of the batsman.

Rohit’s adventure came to an end after he holed out to Jaiswal at cover. The new man Suryakumar Yadav got off the mark by clipping the ball to the fine leg for a four. Kishan, too, registered his first boundary. Mustafizur removed Suryakumar for 13. The 31-year-old skied a catch to substitute fielder Mahipal Lomror at mid-off.

Kishan was keen to finish the chase quickly and improve Mumbai’s net run rate. He hammered consecutive sixes in Sakariya’s third over, which went for 24. The wicket-keeper batsman wrapped up the match with a six and also managed to bring up his fifty, coming in just 25 balls.

Rajasthan 90/9 in 20 overs (E Lewis 24; N Coulter Nile 4/14, J Neesham 3/12)

Mumbai 94/2 in 8.2 overs (I Kishan 50*, R Sharma 22; C Sakariya 1/36)

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