Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, CLT20, Jaipur September 21, 2013

Royals keep home streak going with comfortable win


Rajasthan Royals 148 for 3 (Samson 54) beat Mumbai Indians 142 for 7 (Rohit 44, Pollard 42, Malik 3-24) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

We have moved on from the IPL to the Champions League T20 qualifiers, and from there to Champions League proper, but some things haven't changed. Rajasthan Royals stay unbeaten at home in 2013. Poor shots keep making games interesting. And ordinary umpiring keeps playing a significant role.

After an early shower delayed the start by 15 minutes, Royals asked the IPL champions to bat first on a pitch with fresh grass, and kept them down to 142 thanks to Vikramjeet Malik, who possibly wouldn't have been playing had Siddharth Trivedi not been suspended for one year for not reporting an approach by bookies. Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile, the latter playing in the absence of Lasith Malinga, put Royals batsmen through a stern test, but were frustrated by Sanju Samson having escaped a plumb lbw when on one.

Samson went on to become the youngest player to score a fifty in the CLT20. More importantly, it helped Royals home. The knock wasn't as convincing as the scorebook will show: even his fifty came up with a massive outside edge on the heave, he was beaten next ball, and then - clearly out of place against fast, short bowling - gloved one over the keeper. Then again, it was hardly a night where things were what they seemed to be.

Mumbai's team sheet slated the comeback man Sachin Tendulkar at No. 4, Rahul Dravid said his side needed no spinner, and the grass on the pitch promised high and consistent bounce. Tendulkar came out to open, part-time spinner Ashok Menaria bowled the first over, and Malik bowled a nasty grubber in the second over to trap Dwayne Smith lbw.

Mumbai hardly looked comfortable against the movement, losing wickets regularly until Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard added 52 for the fifth wicket. Rohit, though, edged the returning Watson a ball after hitting him for a six, leaving Pollard with a lot to do. Pollard threatened to do the lot, but in the last over of the innings - when a 20 from him looked possible - he edged a wide half-volley through to the keeper.

Coulter-Nile hit a six and a four to give Mumbai some momentum going into the second innings, and got lucky with the ball too when Rahul Dravid cut a wide ball straight to point. Johnson wasn't as lucky when he had Samson dead in front to a 150kmph swinger. Bruce Oxenford was the only man who didn't agree. Samson and Ajinkya Rahane weathered that testing spell, and then targeted the two Mumbai spinners.

Pragyan Ojha was welcomed with a six over extra cover, and Harbhajan Singh was punished every time he bowled short and flat. Just when it looked like the two could finish the game off, Rahane ended the 74-run partnership with an ugly swipe. Samson continued his merry ride - he should consider taking it all the way to a casino - until a Pollard short ball got too big for him but wasn't fast enough to take the top edge behind the stumps over the infield.

Royals needed 36 off 27 then, and Shane Watson and Stuart Binny finally made sure there was a departure from the IPL: there was no twist in the end. Well, there might have been one when Watson played put two dots in the last over with two required, but Pollard let him off with a misfield.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NIKHIL on September 23, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    """ Things weren't what they seemed to be"" ##!! What a poor article by Cricinfo again .Instead of applauding samson they write stories about he got unscathed . Mr writer don't you think he showed great responsibility and maturism which is unexpected by 19 years old . If you have watched that match ,the first boundary scored by rohit was a edge , the big hit he scored of watson towards deep mid wicket surprised rohit sharma too and after hitting six he edged to keeper like he never played before . Polard too was beaten several times by faulkner and binny . The last scoring by coulter-nile was nothing but blind slogging and if you feel that are good cricketing shots than seriously you need to change your profession . If you feel samson scored with edges and escaped lbw decisions then why didn't you think that MI still didn't get his wicket at right time. Mumbai llost because of their batting , not because of their luck!!

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    So the champions league proper started with RR beating MI. Post match dravid as usual trying to project themselves as perrenial poor boys of t20 winning against mighty goliaths is loathing to say the least. And that followed by barraage of comments from RR fans is still loathing. Win & loss is part of the game. so njoy the game. One loss doesnt knock any team out & in the same breathe one win wont assure u a berth in the knock outs. So guys chill !

  • Naresh on September 22, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    Just looked at the stats on VS MALIK - seems like a good bowler to me. Will have to watch some of the games he plays and see what makes him take wickets.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    I dont know how MI selects their playing line up. 6 Bowlers in the team!! I have always seen that there is no need but MI always try to accommodate the two Indian spinners Ojha and Bhajji. Perhaps they try to keep both of them happy. If you are giving with 2 spinners you could have kept one of Rishi Dhawan or Coulter-Nile on bench ( though both of them had good figures but still you cant judge it on one day's performance ). This would have made 1 place vacant and guess Tare should have been given a chance considering his form in recently concluded IPL.MI without any doubt struggles at opening batting. With Tare accompanying Smith they may find their ideal opening pair. Sachin can come at one down for MI's benefit considering that this may his last CLT20 probably.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Sanju Samson is the most talented of the younger lot like Unmukt Chand, Mandeep Singh, Baba Aparajith, etc., as he maintains a level head playing at this level, and has the guts to face all the top international bowlers. Of course, he needs to improve his technique a bit on playing short pitched deliveries, but the most interesting thing about his batting is that he keeps the score board ticking, while some of the established Indian players get bogged down. Come on, give him a pat on the back instead of finding fault with his technique.

  • Android on September 22, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    despite loss cricketing GOD(sachin) ll hav no hesitation in welcomming cricketing PRINCE(sanju samson)..incidently GOD'S last clt20 is PRINCE'S First..

  • k on September 22, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Well some one is crying because some team have lost this match,and rohit also were struggling ,the first boundary is of edge,well that did'nt noticed here ,rather than a young 18 year old kid [matured than some batsmen in our Indian XI],even kept his cool head even when some players were sledging him when he is in 40's .For regarding pitch Dravid 'the gentleman' said a perfect answer in post-match interview "We have batsmen who aren't necessarily big six-hitters, but play good cricketing shots" .

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    It is little surprise but nice and interesting to listen Hindi Commentary from Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar in Star Cricket for Champions league Twenty20.

  • sree on September 22, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    There is something rare about Rajasthan Royals that keeps them going despite an ever depleted state of their team, right from first season. Except Watson there is nothing much to talk about T20 in the RR side. Brutally hit by scandals and no resources, still they fight, is a sporting treat to watch. Mumbai with Pollard, Rohit, Ojha, Tendulkar, Smith, Harbhajan, Johnson, Rayudu...omg how can they lose? This tells a story about RR. Hats off to Rahul Dravid and team. And yes this article was very micro visioned about Some-son.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    The above article, instead of appreciating RR's excellent bowling,fielding,batting & captaincy by Rahul Dravid, the comment is more on Sanju's lucky escape which was not his fault,and his bad batting.The great International bowlers had so many overs to bowl, why they did n't dismiss Samson, the youngest & least experienced batsman? RR team was without their regular players,still Dravid motivated the available players and won the match. Rohit Sharma wanted to bat first & got the oppurtunity,but lost 4 wickets quickly,including Tendulkar to a least known bowler called Malik, whereas RR batsmen smashed ther so called great bowlers of MI, including Ojha & Harbajhan who should not have played because,the spinners were not required,an errror of judgement by MI thinktanks, but good thinking by Dravid. Just accept, RR played better than MI in all departments, instead of finding excuses.

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