By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
The strength of Mumbai Indians lies in their ability to share the burden. They don’t really depend on one or two big names for the success and firmly believe in total teamwork. On Tuesday, it was Suryakumar Yadav’s turn as the middle-order batsman to raise his hands and come to the party with a wonderful innings of 79 not out (47 balls, 11×4, 2×6) to help Mumbai Indians maintain their winning streak.
Yadav, who had a few good starts but did not have the big score against his name so far, perfectly anchored the Mumbai Indians to a strong total of 193 for 4 against Rajasthan Royals. The total proved beyond the reach of Rajasthan Royals as defending champions logged a comfortable 57-run victory in the Dream11 Indian Premier League match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The No. 3 batsman played perhaps his best knock of the IPL. He did not play a single lofted shot till he reached the half-century. Yadav, who earlier represented Kolkata Knight Riders, hammered both his sixes after reaching the half-century. The second six off Jofra Archer, where he played an improvised scoop, as the ball sailed over the third man fence was a special attempt.
Yadav, who was one of the most successful batsmen in last year’s Ranji Trophy season, carried the fine form into the shortest format too. The 30-year-old Mumbai Ranji captain dazzled with his range of shots to complete his maiden fifty of the season. Rohit Sharma, who opted to bat, hit 35 (23 balls, 2×4, 3×6). The MI skipper gave his team a flying start in the company of Quinton de Kock (23: 15 balls, 3×4, 1×6) by adding 49 runs.
In the last five overs, Mumbai Indians, like they always do, piled up 68 runs without losing a wicket as Yadav and Hardik went all out. Hardik came up with another quick-fire knock of 30 not out off just 19 deliveries. The ace all-rounder struck two fours and a six.
Shreyas Gopal was the most successful bowler with two for 28 while Jofra Archer and Kartik Tyagi chipped in with a wicket each. Rest of the Royals bowlers struggled against the mighty batting line-up of the opposition.
Chasing a daunting target of 194, Rajasthan Royals needed a solid start. Mumbai Indians speedsters, however, foiled their bid with penetrative bowling with the new ball. RR were tottering at 12 for three at the end of the third over. Teenager Yashasvi Jaiswal continued his nightmarish run and got out for another duck. Skipper Steve Smith (6) departed in the next over as Jasprit Bumrah picked up his first of the four wickets. Both the catches were held by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
Sanju Samson followed soon as he also failed to open the account. Last match man-of-the-match Boult continued from where he had left with a twin blow from where Rajasthan Royals could not recover and were skittled out for mere 136 in 18.1 overs.
Jos Butler waged a lone battle with a strokeful 70 off 44 balls. The England opener pummelled four boundaries and five towering sixes to delay the inevitable. He looked in dazzling form before his fighting innings was cut short by Kieron Pollard, who took an extraordinary catch at the long-on off James Pattinson. Butler’s England teammate Jofra Archer (24: 11 balls, 3×4, 1×6) too played a few shots but in vain. Bumrah produced yet another brilliant spell to return with 4 for 20 from his 4 overs. Other seamers Pattinson and Boult claimed a couple each.
With yet another comprehensive win, MI jumped to the top of the table with 8 points from six matches. On the other hand, RR, who started the season with back-to-back wins, crashed to their third consecutive defeat and are lying low at the seventh spot with four points from five matches.
On Wednesday, Chennai Super Kings will square off against Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 193 for 4 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 79 not out, Rohit Sharma 35, Hardik Pandya 30 not out, Quinton de Kock 23, Krunal Pandya 12; Shyreas Gopal 2-28, Jofra Archer 1-34, Kartik Tyagi 1-36) beat Rajasthan Royals 136 in 18.1 overs (Jos Butler 70, Jofra Archer 24, Tom Curran 15, Mahipal Lomror 11; Jasprit Bumrah 4-20, James Pattinson 2-19, Trent Boult 2-26, Rahul Chahar 1-24, Kieron Pollard 1-24) by 57 runs. Man-of-the-match: Suryakumar Yadav (Mumbai Indians).