Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal struck crucial blows in successive overs as Rajasthan Royals won by 23 runs against Mumbai Indians in the ninth match of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday.
After Jos Buttler's 68-ball hundred propelled them to 193/8 in 20 overs, Rajasthan struck hard in the final few overs as Mumbai could manage only 170/8. Fifties from Ishan Kishan and Tilak Varma were not sufficient to deny the 2008 IPL champions their second successive win of the season.
Just like Rajasthan, Mumbai lost captain Rohit Sharma and Anmolpreet Singh cheaply in the power-play. But Kishan, who got an unbeaten 81 against Delhi Capitals, began from where he left off. After getting Mumbai off the mark with a smash through cover off Trent Boult, Kishan hit Navdeep Saini with a pulled six over fine leg, followed by a loft over mid-off on a no-ball and hitting the next ball through the same region.
Though Kishan slowed down after the power-play, Varma stepped up to be the aggressor. Varma began by pulling Ashwin between short fine leg and deep backward square leg. The standout shot from the youngster's innings was his sweetly-timed loft down the ground off Saini. Varma's impressive show continued when he ran down the pitch and tonked Chahal over deep mid-wicket for six followed by a four swept through fine leg.
Kishan earned a reprieve at 41 when Yashasvi Jaiswal ran across and timed his dive well to take the catch at deep mid-wicket. But as soon as his elbows landed on the ground, the ball popped out of his hands. After bringing up his fifty with a straight drive off Boult' Kishan's knock ended at 54 as Saini took a screamer at deep square leg but his head hit the ground hard and left the field immediately, ending the 81-run partnership off 54 balls for the third wicket.
Verma marched forward to bring up his maiden IPL fifty in 28 balls and followed it up with a nice pull off Chahal. After reverse-sweeping Ashwin for six over third man, Varma went for the sweep but he missed a slower delivery and saw his stumps knocked over.
In his final over, Chahal trapped Tim David lbw with a ripping leg-break and took out Daniel Sams by tempting him to hole out to deep mid-wicket. The leg-spinner missed his hat-trick as Karun Nair spilled a catch at slip. Kieron Pollard whipped Boult for a four and six through leg-side and was given a life at 14 when Jaiswal spilled a simple catch at deep cover.
With 29 needed off the final over, Pollard crunched a four through extra cover off Saini. But the pacer kept calm to bowl four dot balls and got the big-hitter out on the final ball as Buttler fittingly took the catch at deep extra cover.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 193/8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 100, Shimron Hetmyer 35; Jasprit Bumrah 3/17, Tymal Mills 3/35) beat Mumbai Indians 170/8 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 61, Ishan Kishan 54; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/26, Navdeep Saini 2/36) by 23 runs.