After a century stand between Sanju Samson and Karun Nair, late onslaught by Brad Hodge and James Faulkner took Rajasthan Royals to 189 in 20 overs.
After the toss went Mumbai Indians way Rajasthan Royals was asked to bat first. RR once again came up in with a surprise as Shane Watson opened the innings along with Sanju Samson instead of the regular pair. The ploy did not work much as Corey Anderson and Jasprit Bumrah started brilliantly. Bumrah kept Watson in check and bowled a maiden over to him. Watson struggled to find gaps while Samson started to open his arms.
With pressure creeping on Watson he decided to attack Harbhajan Singh but was caught by Kieron Pollard who ran from the boundary. Watson lasted for 18 balls and scored only eight runs. Karun Nair and Samson then joined hands to start the rebuilding process and the two looked on top of their game especially Karun who led the charge. Both batsmen attacked spinners and scored heftily off
Samson completed his 3rd IPL fifty off 36 balls while Karun Nair followed him and scored his fifty off just 26 balls. With spinners being hammered Rohit Sharma brought Bumrah back into the attack. Even though he gave away 13 runs but on the last ball he had Karun (50) caught at short mid-wicket to break the century stand between Karun and Samson. The duo scored 100 off just 57 balls to give RR an upper hand. At Karun’s dismissal RR were 134-2 in 15 overs.
Two balls later in next over Samson looking to drive got a top edge which went high in the air and Harbhajan completed a good catch. Samson scored 74 off 47 balls hitting 7 4s and 3 6s. In 16th over Brad Hodge and James Faulkner came out to bat and stage was set for them to blaze in death overs. Both batsmen took on bowlers and added 49 runs off 20 balls to take RR past 180. Faulkner was out on penultimate ball as he holed out Corey Anderson in the deep off Pollard.
Faulkner scored 23 off 12 balls hitting three 6s. Hodge then hit the last ball for four to carry momentum with them and RR ended on 189-4 in 20 overs. Hodge remained unbeaten on 29 off 16 balls.
MI now needs to chase down target in 14.3 overs to qualify for the playoffs.
Power Play: 35-1
RR: Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Shane Watson(c), Sanju Samson(w), Ankit Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, Brad Hodge, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe, Dhawal Kulkarni
MI: Michael Hussey, Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma(c), Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare(w), Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal