Coulter-Nile, Neesham and Ishan blow Rajasthan Royals away, MI move to fifth spot
Mumbai Indians 94 for 2 (Kishan 50*, Rahman 32/1) beat Rajasthan Royals 90 for 9 (Lewis 24, Coulter-Nile 14/4, Neesham 12/3) by eight wickets.
The 51st match of the 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was played between the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). Both these sides have been struggling to qualify in this season of IPL. So, this encounter between these two sides was highly important, considering qualification scenarios for IPL playoffs.
Ishan Kishan back for MI
Rajasthan included leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal in the eleven in place of Mayank Markande, also they gave IPL debut to left-arm speedster Kuldip Yadav in this game in place of Akash Singh.
In this must-win game for both teams, Mumbai included Ishan Kishan and handed wicketkeeping gloves to him. So, Proteas wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock had to sit out of the eleven. They also included Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham in the eleven in place of Krunal Pandya.
Rajasthan Royals batters fell like a house of cards against Mumbai seamers
Rajasthan openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal smacked some stylish boundaries early in the innings, however, Nathan Coulter-Nile scalped the wicket of Yashasvi behind the wicket, when the opener was trying to smash the ball behind point. On the other hand, Lewis became the victim of the low bounce of pitch, as he got out LBW off the delivery of Jasprit Bumrah while trying for the pull shot to a short ball.
RR skipper Sanju Samson played an irresponsible shot early in the innings to James Neesham only to be caught by Jayant Yadav at backward point. Lack of bounce off the pitch made Rajasthan batting line-up crumble against medium pacers of MI.
Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, David Miller and Shreyas Gopal went to the dugout one after another, without contributing anything significant to the total.
Neesham and Coulter-Nile made most of the damage to the Royals batting order. Coulter-Nile wreaked havoc on the slow surface and scalped four wickets conceding just 14 runs while Neesham bagged three wickets for just 12 runs. Rajasthan Royals could register only 90 runs on the scoreboard, by losing nine wickets in 20 overs, which is the lowest first-innings total in this season of IPL.
Mumbai Indians got a flying start to improve net run-rate along with win
On such a dreadful pitch, Mumbai opener and skipper Rohit Sharma blasted two boundaries in the first over of the innings including a straight six over the head of the bowler with a straight bat. Sharma also launched a huge six off the delivery of leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal over deep backward square leg, however, he got out while trying to play over the infield on the off side, off a delivery of Chetan Sakaria, but it went to cover where Jaiswal took an easy catch.
On the other hand, opener Ishan Kishan smashed three boundaries in the first over of debutant pacer Kuldip Yadav. One down batter Surykumar Yadav hammered three elegant fours but he also succumbed to left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, while he was trying to loft the ball on the off-side.
As Hardik Pandya joined Kishan in the middle, Kishan batted sensibly to take Mumbai close to the target. He clubbed two back to back maximums to Sakaria, and finished the match in just the ninth over, with a huge six off Rahman, which also completed his fifty in just 25 balls.
Mumbai Indians inch closer to a playoff berth
Mumbai Indians were at seventh position in the points table of this season of IPL before this game but by beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets, they have now moved up to the fifth position. This improves the chances of Mumbai Indians making it to the playoffs in this season, while sixth-ranked Rajasthan Royals slipped to the seventh position in the points table, which has made their road to the playoffs difficult.
Top Twitter Reactions as Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals
Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets and move to fifth spot in points table. Nathan Coulter-Nile (4/14), James Neesham (3/12) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) made it tough for Rajathan. A lot of cricket fans and former crickter congratulated Mumbai Indians on keeping the hopes alive for playoffs and at the same time showed the dissent for poor batting display from RR.
Here are some of the finest Twitter Reactions from MIvsRR: