After explosive power-hitting from Hardik Pandya, sensational blitzkrieg from Ben Stokes (60-ball 107) and Sanju Samson (31-ball 54) powered Rajasthan Royals to a eight-wicket win over the most successful team in the history of IPL 2020, Mumbai Indians, in the 45th match of the Indian Premier League on Sunday. Stokes and Samson added 152* runs for the third wicket after Pattinson’s early blows. Unlike previous games, Stokes finally arrived at the party and showcased some exquisite power-hitting to score his first hundred of IPL 2020. While a win for RR kept them alive in the race to playoffs, this also means that CSK has become the first team to be officially knocked out of IPL2020 — for the first time ever (in seasons which they have taken part).
Pattinson was the only bowler to take wickets for MI, dismissing Stokes’ opener Robin Uthappa and RR captain Steve Smith early on in the innings
Chasing 196 for the win, Robin Uthappa took first strike for Rajasthan Royals with Ben Stokes at the other end. For Mumbai, Trent Boult will start the proceedings with the new ball. Veteran Robin Uthappa’s average form with the bat this season continued as he was the first to fall after getting caught by Kieron Pollard at mid for 11-ball 13 off Pattinson’s first over.
Skipper Steve Smith was the new man in and he and Stokes started to take the attack to Mumbai bowlers. James Pattinson bagged his second wicket to get the big wicket of Steve Smith (8). Smith looked to up the scoring rate even more in the run-chase and tried to drive the ball for a four but got bowled after the ball took his inside edge and rattled the stumps.
Despite losing two top-order batsmen so early, Rajasthan Royals raced away to 55 at the end of the powerplay. Stokes, Samson kept Rajasthan in the hunt despite Pattinson’s early blows. Soon, successive fours from Stokes helped him notch up a 28-ball fifty. At the end of first ten overs, RR reached 99 for loss of two wickets.
The probability of a Royals win kept on rising with Stokes and Samson presence at the crease. After Stokes, Sanju Samson notched up his 13th IPL half-century. The duo continued their assault and eventually Stokes scored his tom to power his team to a 8-wicket win.
The win keeps RR’s slender hopes of making it to the playoffs alive as they remain level on points with fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab and two points behind fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bat first against Rajasthan Royals. RR skipper Steve Smith decided to play with the same team. Rohit-less Mumbai decided to make one change as Pattinson replaced Nathan Coulter-Nile in the playing XI.
After cracking the show against Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians returned stronger posing a score of 195 at the loss of five wickets against Rajasthan Royals. Rohit Sharma’s absence was somewhat felt today early in the game but Hardik Pandya compensated well!
Brief scores: MI 195/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 60 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 40; Shreyas Gopal 2/30) vs RR 196/2 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 107 not out, Sanju Samson 54 not out; James Pattinson 2/40)
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(w), Jos Buttler, Steven Smith(c), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi
Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard(c), Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah