Mumbai Indians were once again on the right side of the Simulated Reality League, thanks to the opening partnership between Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma, combining for 197 runs at the top. In the bowling department, it was the wizardry of the young leggie Rahul Chahar, who picked up 5/21.
This is a pattern now, all the home sides somehow manage to win the toss and give away the advantage to the visiting side. Talk about ‘a grand welcome,’ from the hosts. Batting first, Mumbai Indians were dominant, right from the word go, with Rohit and de Kock scoring runs for fun. The duo put on a 197-run partnership, with Rohit going on to score a well-deserved century while de Kock fell two short. Alongside, some late blows from Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai posted 231/2, which is a good score against any opposition in the SRL.
Great start, followed by some lacklustre middle-over play - defines the Rajasthan batting in short. However, if you closely look at it, Robin Uthappa played a decent knock at the top, scoring 48 runs off 32 deliveries, including two sixes. Buttler fell early yet again, scoring just 11 before Samson got out, scoring 15 runs. Despite the partnership lower down the order, the target was always booming and threatening the Royals’ batting order. In the end, a four-wicket over from Rahul Chahar sealed the fate for the home side.
Rohit Sharma - de Kock’s partnership was arguably the only turning point in the game. While not only did the partnership establish Mumbai’s home run-performance, it also warned the bowlers on not making mistakes. The duo just piled up runs, like they were batting in a Test match, with a 197-run partnership. The more you talk about the partnership, the less you would talk about the match, in particular - Rajasthan’s bowling efforts.
Highs and Lows
Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma’s form is a definite high for the team. Not only did he score 112 runs but also looked in fine form, scoring four sixes and 13 boundaries with 76 runs coming off boundaries. It would be a welcome sign for Mumbai to see their skipper in such form ahead of the crucial games in the competition. His partnership alongside de Kock surely gave the Mumbai franchise a lot to smile on.
Tom Curran’s performance definitely would go down in the SRL history’s one of the worst spells. Not only was the Englishman picked for his wicket-taking ability but also for his capability down the order with the bat. On the night, he did not deliver in any of the categories - neither with the bat nor with the ball. In particular, with the ball, he looked in awful form as the scoreboard suggests, conceding 45 runs in just four overs. A player of his calibre surely should have done better for the franchise.
Powerplay exploitation: Mumbai 10/10 and Rajasthan 5/10
It’s becoming a show now, Mumbai Indians' powerplay batting performance. Every time, every game you look at it, you feel like there is really no other team which can top this display. Yet again when they walked out to bat, it felt like magic all over again. Rohit Sharma’s match with de Kock at the top of the order is a winning combination, with both of them scoring runs at a steady pace. After the first six overs, Mumbai were already 67/0, which only meant and spelt trouble for the Rajasthan side, who chose to bowl first. Well, the game pretty much looked a lost cause starting from there.
Well, well, Rajasthan last time made a terrible mess at the top of the order. This time, nothing different with Buttler exiting in just the 3rd over of the innings. From there, there was no comeback or no comeback efforts from the Rajasthan lineup, sparing some magic from Uthappa. Uthappa showcased some excellent batting effort scoring runs freely alongside Samson and Smith.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: Mumbai 9/10 and Rajasthan 4/10
Just like how they started the innings, Mumbai dealt the middle overs in the same manner. Exquisite brand of cricket, over the top shots and more so - two-run machines at the middle of the pitch. Rohit and de Kock just took the onus upon themselves to ensure that Mumbai did not give up on the aggressive start. They just went on with the flow - scored runs at a heavy rate, sometimes, more than what should be scored in the middle overs. Everything was bang-on with their batting effort in the middle.
After being 53/2 at the end of the powerplay overs, Rajasthan did a good job in the middle-overs, manoeuvring the strike on and off. Rajasthan’s top six batsmen scored the two-digit mark, with some good cricket. However, given that the total was well-over 200, it has to be said that their approach in the middle-overs was just hit or miss, eventually wrapping up the game for Mumbai.
Death bowling: Mumbai 8/10 and Rajasthan 3/10
Rajasthan’s bowling efforts, or say - death bowling efforts were better than what they delivered earlier in the innings. Moreso, they have to thank that one man- Jaydev Unadkat for saving them time and again. However, this time even his twin wicket in the death was not enough to prevent the Mumbai side from posting 231 runs at the end of 20 overs.
To be honest, the death overs were non-existent for the Mumbai side against Rajasthan. Everything from the last game stands true, with the death overs still non-existent. In the 16th over, when Chahar stepped out to bowl, the game was almost over, thanks to his brilliance on the field. Now it all makes sense why Mumbai Indians’ fans were this happy while picking Chahar in the playing XI. The man surely turned and turned the Rajasthan batsmen to his tunes - picking up four wickets in the 16th over, which also was a maiden over.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Excellent
Well, the match had everything in it - starting from the crazy sixes to the timed boundaries. Rohit Sharma and de Kock kick-started the party off in sublime fashion before Rahul Chahar made the crowd go numb with his bowling wizardry. Overall, despite it being one-sided, the batting performance from the away side was truly ‘Paisa Vasool.’
Brief scores: MI 231/2 (Rohit 112 and Unadkat 2/45) beat RR 144/10 (Uthappa 48 and Chahar 5/21) by 87 runs
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