Rajasthan Royals just continue to churn out wins in IPL 2013, looking almost unbeatable in their home ground in Jaipur at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
In another authoritative performance, the Royals trounced the Mumbai Indians by 87-runs, to pickup their fourth win in five games and storm to the top of the points table.
Batting first, after Rahul Dravid won the toss, the Royals, led by Rayudu, and ably supported by Shane Watson, Brad Hodge and Dishant Yagnik, posted 179 for three from their 20 overs. In reply, Mumbai were never really in the game, as the bowlers came to the fore to bowl the away side out for 92 in 18.2 overs, and hand MI their biggest loss in terms of runs in IPL history .
The Mumbai Indians chase was an absolute mess from ball one. MI have been the most exciting team to watch in this year's IPL, along with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but it seemed like the players left their playing shoes back in Mumbai against the Royals.
Chasing the steep target, MI never got going as they lost their openers - Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting - early.
Royals skipper Rahul Dravid gave the ball to Ajit Chandila to open the innings, and the off-spinner picked up the Little Master's wicket off the fourth ball.
Tendulkar (1) attempted a sweep off the spinner, but only managed a top-edge to Siddharth Trivedi at short fine-leg.
Ponting's woes continued as the Australian veteran handed a simple catch back to Chandila (two for six) in the third over, with MI already in trouble on 10 for two.
Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma have scored over 70 percent of MI's runs so far in this year's IPL, and the onus was pretty much on them yet again to rescue the side.
However, this time there was to be no counter-attack with Sharma going for just two runs. Kieron Polllard (1) soon followed, as Stuart Binny (two for 14) found a way through the gate of the big West Indian.
Karthik tried his best to salvage something from the run chase, but eventually ran out of steam, caught by Brad Hodge at long-on off James Faulkner for a 32-ball 30. Mumbai were now on 61 for five, and after the next over it was 64 for seven, as Rishi Dhawan and Harbhajan Singh were dismissed.
Mitchell Johnson (11 in 9) came in at No. 9, and quickly enough, played on to Faulkner (three for 16), before Ambati Rayudu (27, 29b, 2x4) was trapped lbw by Kevon Cooper as MI were staring at an embarrassing score of 83 for nine in 17.1 overs.
Faulkner picked up his third wicket, castling Lasith Malinga as MI were bowled out for 92.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals played the perfect innings batting first, with the openers firing, while being perfectly supported by the middle order.
Watson fired for the first time in IPL 2013, with the big Australian bringing out his repertoire of shots all around the wicket.
Watson and Rahane is the perfect opening partnership, when they are on song, with both players capable of taking on the bowling, while also giving respect to the good deliveries.
Rahane was happy to drop anchor and let the batsmen around him take the risks, and it worked splendidly for the Royals.
Watson, after smashing five fours and a maximum in his 25-ball 31, was the first batsman to go, edging one to Karthik off Pollard. The partnership yielded 62 from 7.2 overs, creating the perfect platform for a big total.
The Australian's wicket did not drop the run-rate as wicketkeeper-batsman Yagnik continued the assault on the bowling, with Rahane milking the bowlers and rotating the strike to great effect.
Yagnik's 24-ball 34 (4x4, 1x6) was crucial to the Royals maintaining their charge, as the home side raced from 62 to 115, before Yagnik lost his wicket. The 29-year-old's attempt at a reverse-sweep off Harbhajan Singh, only led to the ball going to Tendulkar at short third-man.
Binny was run out soon after, before Rahane cranked up a gear, in the company of the experienced Brad Hodge (27, 15b, 2x6).
Rahane (68, 54b, 8x4, 1x6) and Hodge were especially vicious on Mitchell Johnson in the final over, taking the bowler for 19 runs, which included three fours and a six.
The duo allied for a massive 53 runs from just 4.5 overs, as the Royals went from 126 for three in 15.1 overs to 179.