The Rajasthan Royals (RR) prevailed over the Mumbai Indians (MI) in a must-win game to keep their qualification hopes alive. They made MI wait to cement their position in the playoffs with the victory, and the defending champions now need to win a few more games to guarantee a top-two finish.
RR got over the line in a massive chase due to a blistering 152-run unbroken partnership between the under-fire duo of Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson. Likely to lose his opening spot if he failed again, Stokes slammed his first 50+ score for RR as he finished with a sensational 107* off 60 balls. He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who scored a fast-paced fifty.
Every single one of MI’s bowlers was milked for more than 9 runs an over as RR cruised to the target, never quite losing momentum. Several records were set – Samson is now the season’s highest six-hitter, Stokes became the first overseas centurion this season and MI conceded the highest-ever chase against them. The win will hold RR in good stead as they make a playoff push.
Hardik Pandya’s carnage takes MI to 195/5
Though MI had an early setback by way of Quinton de Kock’s wicket, contributions from Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary set the team up for a competitive total. A costly dropped catch early on in Hardik Pandya‘s innings would haunt them, as he went on to score 60 off just 21 balls in a frenetic display of ball-striking.
RR’s bowling was a story of extremes – while Jofra Archer and the two leg-spinners Gopal and Tewatia were economical, Kartik Tyagi and Ankit Rajpoot went for many. Rajpoot had an especially woeful night, going under the pump to end up with figures of 4-0-60-0. It seems RR are equally dissatisfied with both Unadkat and Rajpoot with regards to the other opening pacer’s slot.
IPL 2020, RR vs MI: Who was the Man of the Match?
Economical bowling performances by RR’s bowlers did a lot to contain the damage for most parts of MI’s innings. The quality of the RR spinners was evidenced by the dismal figures returned by all their MI counterparts. However, for a potentially season-defining knock, the deserving player of the match was Ben Stokes.
Under enormous pressure for his place in the team – especially since RR hardly depend on his seam bowling – Stokes put all doubts to rest following a commanding performance. Opening the innings yet again, Stokes’ century was an unexpected assault on the best of the MI bowlers, as their famed pace troika was left searching for answers.
For his unbeaten century that gave RR a fighting chance to qualify, Ben Stokes was the Man of the Match in yesterday’s IPL game.
Published 25 Oct 2020, 23:54 IST