After suffering an eight-wicket defeat against the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday in Sharjah, Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson stated that the wicket was challenging for batting in the first innings. He was hopeful of his team bouncing back in their last league fixture against KKR on Thursday.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bowl first, and their bowlers displayed a brilliant performance with the ball, restricting the Rajasthan Royals to a paltry score of 90/9. Jimmy Neesham, who played his first match for MI in the second phase of IPL 2021, was the highlight with his 3/12 from his four overs.
RR openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis scored 21 runs off the first two overs, before the former was dismissed by Nathan Coulter Nile. The Australian pacer, who was adjudged Man of the Match, went on to scalp three more wickets and finished with 4/14.
Rohit Sharma (22) and Ishan Kishan got MI off to a flyer in the chase, before the former fell to Chetan Sakariya in the fourth over. Kishan, replacing Quinto de Kock in the XI, smashed an unbeaten 50 off 25 balls with five fours three maximum to guide MI to their sixth victory of the season. With the win against RR, Mumbai Indians have climbed to the fifth spot to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Reflecting on the crusing defeat, Sanju Samson stated that the wicket was tough to bat in the first innings, and that the batsmen couldn't be blamed alone for the loss.
"It was a bit challenging wicket to bat on, it was tougher in the first innings. Coming from Abu Dhabi, playing in Sharjah was a massive difference. Can't blame the batsmen a lot, but it was tough to bat in the first innings. Abu Dhabi had one of the best batting wickets, switching to Sharjah was tough. Mindset - it's a bit cloudy right now, we need to take some time off and then think about the next game. We'd definitely like to play a better game of cricket in the next game. We knew that they'll be coming strong, in the powerplay they wanted to increase the run-rate. The wicket was a bit better than the first innings but they batted really well," Sanju Samson said after the match.
RR have now stepped down to the seventh spot on the points table, and have almost fallen out of the race to the play-offs. They'll take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league game in Sharjah on Thursday, October 7.