After an above-par target from Mumbai, Ben Stokes with his brilliant hundred won the game for Rajasthan and kept their season alive for qualification to the knockouts. Sanju Samson with his 31-ball 54 played the perfect support role to Stokes and won the game for his team by 8 wickets.
RR 8/10 - OOH BLIMEY! WHAT A START. Ben Stokes started his onslaught on the Mumbai bowlers right from the start and, despite losing Robin Uthappa early, making sure that the momentum of the innings is not lost. However, losing Steve Smith towards the end must have been bitter, scoring 55 for 2 in the first six overs.
MI 9/10 - What an eventful starting to the game. Despite losing Quinton de Kock early to a fiery Jofra Archer, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan didn’t let the tempo of the innings to slither, taking full advantage of every mistake made by Rajasthan bowlers. It was brutal yet a clinical effort from Mumbai, ending the powerplay on 59/1.
Middle overs maneuvering
RR 10/10 - PERFECT AGGRESSIVE DISPLAY! Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson went bonkers on the Mumbai bowlers, bringing up their respective fifties and putting Rajasthan in a commanding position in the match. Mighty Mumbai bowlers looked like muppets against the onslaught from the Rajasthan pair, giving away 102 runs in 9 overs.
MI 7/10 - What an ordinary display from Mumbai. They had the perfect platform to pile on a big score today, but they lost their way after Archer pulled off a spectacular catch of Kishan to break the momentum of the Mumbai innings. Scoring just 58 runs with 3 wickets down, Mumbai failed to accelerate against a disciplined effort from Rajasthan.
RR 2/10 - Absolutely SMASHED! Rajasthan bowlers were pasted all over the ground by Hardik Pandya as they struggled to hit the blockhole, giving juicy full tosses to the Mumbai allrounder. Ankit Rajpoot and Kartik Tyagi looked clueless at the death, helping Mumbai pile 79 runs in the last 5 overs. This certainly will be costly for Rajasthan. Momentum shifts towards Mumbai.
MI 2/10 - By the time death overs came, the match was already in favour of Rajasthan as they required just 39 runs off 30 balls. Samson and Stokes ensured that they gave any opening to Mumbai bowlers and finished the match on their own, winning the match for Rajasthan by 8 wickets.
Jofra Archer desperately needs support
Such has been the trend this season of Rajasthan bowling that despite Jofra Archer being in red hot form, picking up 17 wickets in 12 matches, they have struggled to stop oppositions from scoring big against them. The difference between the quality of bowling from Archer and others has been quite stark, where they have just managed to pick up 19 wickets combined together at an economy of 10+ against Archer’s 17 wickets at an economy of just shade above 6. Ankit Rajpoot has struggled to be consistent with good deliveries, Jaydev Unadkat has leaked runs in plenty, and Kartik Tyagi, although has been decent considering his first season, has not quite been enough to support Archer. Rajasthan do have the option of trying out Under-19 star Akash Singh, but looking at the current situation, it does not seem like a probable event, which means their current bowlers will have to pull up their socks to save their season.
Hardik Pandya is as good a finisher as they come
After a cruising start in the powerplay, Mumbai were unable to capitalize on the momentum as they were 116 for 4 at the end of 15 overs. It looked like they would end up getting a below-par score, but Junior Pandya had different plans as he gave new life to Mumbai innings. Kartik Tyagi and Ankit Rajpoot were the main victims of the onslaught from the all-rounder as he deposited both the bowlers for 7 sixes in total in two overs, with 3 consecutive sixes off Rajpoot. Bringing up his fifty on the penultimate ball of the innings with a six, Pandya punished every mistake from the bowlers and ended up scoring 21-ball 60 with a six on the last ball as well. With this Pandya also brought his first fifty of the season and proved that on his day, he is as good as any finisher in the world.
Ben Stokes’ first fifty for RR and what a day to pick
Although Ben Stokes was back for the Rajasthan based franchise after missing the initial 7 games, he lacked the kind of flair he had when he won the 2019 World Cup for England. Or for that matter, he wasn’t even playing the way he played for Pune in the 2017 season of IPL, where he scored 316 runs in 12 matches. However, he was back at his best in this game as he brought up his fifty of the season. In what looked like a boundary hitting carnage, he deposited the strong bowling lineup of Mumbai to all the parts of the ground. Chasing a target of 196, he was no two ways about his approach, bringing up his fifty in 28 balls, as he continued his approach smashing all the bowlers. He made sure he stayed up till the end and pulled Rajasthan over the ropes, winning the game by 8 wickets. Stokes stayed unbeaten at the end, scoring 107 runs off 60 balls.
Although Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson hardly looked in any trouble chasing the target, they were not allowed to break the shackles till the 12th over, but James Pattinson giving 18 runs in the 13th over eased off the pressure from the Rajasthan batsmen and set up the game for them.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Entertaining
Definitely not a match for bowlers with a weak heart as both the team plundered bowlers over the ground in a high scoring match. The match was studded with an explosive innings from Hardik Pandya and match-winning partnership from Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes, which ensured that the viewers didn’t have any dull moments in the game. All-in-all an entertaining game for the viewers, but not so much for the bowlers.