Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2012, Jaipur May 20, 2012

Smith and Tendulkar crush Rajasthan

33

Mumbai Indians 163 for 0 (Smith 87*, Tendulkar 58*) beat Rajasthan Royals (Watson 45, Kulkarni 3-18) by ten wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mumbai Indians tried out their eighth different opening combination for the season and it clicked - Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar, with the help of a large dose of luck, put on the highest stand for the first wicket in the tournament to crush Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.

At the halfway stage of this inconsequential match, the omens were good for Royals. Since Shane Watson's arrival, Royals' form has closely mirrored his batting form. Each time Watson has fired Royals have won, and every failure with the bat has led to defeat. He top scored with 45, lifting the Royals to 162. They have never lost a home game when they have scored more than 160.

All that was brushed aside, as Smith and Tendulkar set up only the fifth ten-wicket victory in IPL history. It looked like a completely one-sided encounter but the opening pair had plenty of close calls.

Smith was beaten plenty of times early on and his swipes repeatedly landed in non-man's land. There were several clear-cut chances as well - Ajit Chandila shelled a caught-and-bowled chance, Dishant Yagnik couldn't collect cleanly after Smith was beaten by a Brad Hogg wrong 'un, Siddharth Trivdedi caught him off a no-ball, and Tait couldn't even get his hands on a top-edge skier.

Tendulkar, too, wasn't at his elegant best; he was put down by Watson at midwicket, and then a paddle-sweep was top-edged over the keeper and slip, and wasn't exactly comfortable through much of the innings.

In between, there were some clean hits as well from the openers. Tendulkar got going with a front-foot cover drive off Tait, and Smith repeatedly played the short-arm pull behind square leg for boundaries. The match really began to slip away from Royals in the 11th over, when Smith clubbed Chandila for consecutive sixes to take Mumbai Indians close to their first century opening stand of the season.

A couple of overs later, Chandila let a ball through his hands to concede a boundary, leaving Rahul Dravid shaking his head. Besides the poor fielding, the bowling also gave away too many free runs - 15 wides and a no-ball sliced 10% from the target.

If it ended badly for Royals, it hadn't begun well either. Mumbai fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni, playing his first match of the season, cut short what could be Dravid's final competitive innings. Kulkarni also added the scalp of Ajinkya Rahane, Royals' most prolific scorer this season, later in the Powerplay.

Once again it seemed Royals were looking to Watson for acceleration. He wasn't timing it as well as he would have liked, but the burden wasn't entirely on him as Stuart Binny chipped in with a free-swinging 30. The innings got a jumpstart when Binny caned Harbhajan Singh for 22 runs in the 10th over, slog-sweeping him over square leg for six, and also picking off three fours in the over. Watson joined the fun as he connected well on his third swipe at Smith, sending the ball for six over his favourite deep midwicket region.

Binny was then run-out through an athletic bit of footwork from Kieron Pollard in his follow-through, and a couple of overs later Watson miscued a heave off Pollard, leading to a loss of momentum. Owais Shah and Ashok Menaria, though, capitalised on some indisciplined bowling from Mumbai Indians to take Royals to what seemed a competitive total.

It didn't prove near enough as Mumbai Indians went into the playoffs with a extra shot of confidence. The questions for them will be about their combination after a couple of their experiments worked. Do they stick with the same openers or revert to Tendulkar-Gibbs? Also, does Kulkarni deserve another chance or should they go back to the experience of Munaf Patel.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dprasadh on May 22, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    I am also surprised at the titles on some of the recent articles, lets look at this one - "MI crush Rajasthan". Well, this was a dead-rubber to start with and Rajasthan was playing for pride. Had one of the other results in the last few matches gone a different way and MI were in a "MUST-WIN" game chasing the same target of 162, would they have played the way they did? Simply put, they knew they were in the play-offs and they knew they were going to retain the 3rd place irrespective of the result, so there was really no pressure and they could afford trying something new (Smith opening the innings with SRT). It would not have caused a dent had Smith failed. The title should more likely read something like "MI wins dead-rubber". Lot of things will be answered in the "MUST-WIN" game against CSK! Even though MI won this game against RR, CSK go in with a slight advantage in the sense that they know how to handle pressure in must-win Semis and Finals.

  • dprasadh on May 22, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    @CricketCraze912 - "MI is the best IPL team" - You have a great sense of humor!! MI has by far been the most luckiest team in this IPL. They performed real bad, the opponents performed worser! All their weak-links will be exposed in the up coming matches. Also, talking about their team, the only two that deserve any sort of respect in the MI team are SRT and Malinga. Every other senior member(esp. the Indian counterparts) in the team are NOT "heavy weights", but "head-weights", Bhajji leading from the front, followed very closely by Munaf..I cant imagine how it would be if Bhajji was the Captain and Munaf the vice captain!!

  • Cricketcraze912 on May 21, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    MI iw best Ipl team. RCB and CSK are big hitters. KKR is spinner team. Dehli is full of fast bowlers. MI is all combined. Spin Bhajji and Peterson Fast Munaf and Malinga Hard Hitters Rayudu Pollard Smith RG Sharma

  • Cricketcraze912 on May 21, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Mumbai is possibly one of the best well coordinated teams. If one person doesnt perform another one does. We all know MI is going to win the next 2 IPL

  • ramps_wi on May 21, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Smith will play cause he bowls a tidy spell.... advantage over gibbs

  • ProdigyA on May 21, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    I think MI should go with Sachin and Smith to open. Gibbs' slow innings cost MI their previous match. Also, ofcourse Munaf Patel.

  • on May 21, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @Selfishkar Sachin has scored most WC runs ......more than any other gud/great player ....

  • on May 21, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    I guess The Problem with Sachin is still playing cricket when he Stops it every thing will be fine for some people

  • satish619chandar on May 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Did MI get the right opener for this IPL?? Yes.. They got Levi who scored 50 in first game and won the game.. but where is he now?? Franklin shared some good partnerships with Sachin on top and where is he now?? Smith now started but lets see where he ends.. As always,we need to wait for the thing to happen to judge it..

  • paps1889 on May 21, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Dhawal kulkarni should have given a fair amount of chance in the early MI matches.. Hope, he will play in the Playoffs.. In the previous IPLs kulkarni performed well for Mumbai..

  • dprasadh on May 22, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    I am also surprised at the titles on some of the recent articles, lets look at this one - "MI crush Rajasthan". Well, this was a dead-rubber to start with and Rajasthan was playing for pride. Had one of the other results in the last few matches gone a different way and MI were in a "MUST-WIN" game chasing the same target of 162, would they have played the way they did? Simply put, they knew they were in the play-offs and they knew they were going to retain the 3rd place irrespective of the result, so there was really no pressure and they could afford trying something new (Smith opening the innings with SRT). It would not have caused a dent had Smith failed. The title should more likely read something like "MI wins dead-rubber". Lot of things will be answered in the "MUST-WIN" game against CSK! Even though MI won this game against RR, CSK go in with a slight advantage in the sense that they know how to handle pressure in must-win Semis and Finals.

  • dprasadh on May 22, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    @CricketCraze912 - "MI is the best IPL team" - You have a great sense of humor!! MI has by far been the most luckiest team in this IPL. They performed real bad, the opponents performed worser! All their weak-links will be exposed in the up coming matches. Also, talking about their team, the only two that deserve any sort of respect in the MI team are SRT and Malinga. Every other senior member(esp. the Indian counterparts) in the team are NOT "heavy weights", but "head-weights", Bhajji leading from the front, followed very closely by Munaf..I cant imagine how it would be if Bhajji was the Captain and Munaf the vice captain!!

  • Cricketcraze912 on May 21, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    MI iw best Ipl team. RCB and CSK are big hitters. KKR is spinner team. Dehli is full of fast bowlers. MI is all combined. Spin Bhajji and Peterson Fast Munaf and Malinga Hard Hitters Rayudu Pollard Smith RG Sharma

  • Cricketcraze912 on May 21, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Mumbai is possibly one of the best well coordinated teams. If one person doesnt perform another one does. We all know MI is going to win the next 2 IPL

  • ramps_wi on May 21, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Smith will play cause he bowls a tidy spell.... advantage over gibbs

  • ProdigyA on May 21, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    I think MI should go with Sachin and Smith to open. Gibbs' slow innings cost MI their previous match. Also, ofcourse Munaf Patel.

  • on May 21, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @Selfishkar Sachin has scored most WC runs ......more than any other gud/great player ....

  • on May 21, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    I guess The Problem with Sachin is still playing cricket when he Stops it every thing will be fine for some people

  • satish619chandar on May 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Did MI get the right opener for this IPL?? Yes.. They got Levi who scored 50 in first game and won the game.. but where is he now?? Franklin shared some good partnerships with Sachin on top and where is he now?? Smith now started but lets see where he ends.. As always,we need to wait for the thing to happen to judge it..

  • paps1889 on May 21, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Dhawal kulkarni should have given a fair amount of chance in the early MI matches.. Hope, he will play in the Playoffs.. In the previous IPLs kulkarni performed well for Mumbai..

  • on May 21, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Hehehe... was it a good performance by MI or worst performance by RR... more than 25 extra's, 3-4 drop catches and finally at least 5 misfield's converted 4'rs... simply 50 additional runs showing RR were totally demotivated and didn't try to win.

  • on May 21, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Hmm... Sachin doesn't score that is a problem , he scores that too is a problem.. sorry who took the Indian team into the two ICC WC Finals ... ohh , I apologise for not knowing that the WC's consist only 1 match. Just criticising a great player has become a new fashions now a days it seems.

  • satanswish on May 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Why flop Franklin back in the team?? Gibbs is better player than Flop Franklin.

  • rsurya on May 21, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    Franklin should have opened for mumbai, he takes the innings along nicely and makes a tight nail biting last ball win for mumbai. Smith made it a cake walk. Baaji said at the presentation that "its good to have some good opening options like gibbs and smith" I am pretty sure if gibbs opened then required rate after 10 overs would have been 12 and above. 6 hit by smith in the 1st over helped mumbai to take the momentum throughout the innings.

  • Selfishkar on May 21, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Once again, Tendulkar proves that he is a great player in dead rubber. Come knockouts, he will repeat his 'performance' in two ICC WC finals.

  • anver777 on May 21, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    After so many attempts, finally MI got a perfect opening pair before the playoffs... this morale boosting win for them will surely boost their confidence in the playoffs !!!

  • on May 21, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    hopefully smith wont be one of those many combinations mumbai have tried that worked once but then failed most of the time. even gibbs worked only in 1/3 matches so hopefully can do it again vs csk. we definitely need him coz a slow run rate at d start has been a major problem for MI all throughout this season. Even while chasing targets of 140, the reqd rate reaches 9 by the time they reach the 10th over, so hopefully smith will help keep up the run rate closer to the reqd rate.

  • satanswish on May 21, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    @Kalidas Supramaniam - Probably you haven't watched earlier editions of IPL. Dhawal Kulkarni is definitely better bowler than Munaf, RP Singh or some Shukla guy who played more matches for MI than they really deserved.

  • Rens on May 21, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    So Dhwala Kulkari will play for MI in the eliminator in the place of RP.

  • on May 21, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    Bravo Rahul. Your 462Runs/ 112SR puts into shade performances of many of the young brigade.

  • RK.Chandru on May 21, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    With the kind of cricket they played thus far, especially with so many batsmen (including MSD)out of form and looking pathetic, with their main weapon (R. Ashwin) being thoroughly exposed, CSK do not deserve to be in the play offs at all and if they continue playing this kind of cricket, have no chance of even offering any resistance to MI. I'm not hoping, things would have turned around and CSK can be expected to do any better. Miracles do not happen overnight and CSK players aren't going to strike form this season anyway. MI must be very happy now...

  • NikhilNair on May 21, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    @CricOr... can never forget that article! One of the best articles I ever read lol... all cuz it was 100% reality... and was just pathetic act. Anyways... good game by MI.

  • on May 21, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    What royal thrashing luv it

  • CricOr on May 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    What push_10dolkar says is very true. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2011/content/story/526147.html. Cheers

  • mar2000 on May 20, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    So nice to see Dwayne Smith doing well in the IPL . The West Indies selectors just do not understand this guy ability .The IPL is where he belong and some day the WICB will come calling . Then it will be too late .

  • on May 20, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    It may be a one off match for Kulkarni's performance, for Indian bowler to strike consistently is more important, unlike Chandila. One Off match Heros.

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on May 20, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    I mean Dadu* Correction...........

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on May 20, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Sachin Has Self Respect Unlike DADU I MEan Dada Who Got humiliated By SHakib in His Last Match of any Type of Cricket By Not playing Tamim Iqbal....Great Dady

  • KXIP_is_underestimated on May 20, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    No credit to sachin or smith .... As we all have seen the luck was on their side and really appreciate kulkarni . Tait must work on his line and does not spread the problem to other bowlers

  • push_10dolkar on May 20, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Good to see Dhaval Kulkarni playing today and doing well. He has been a consistent player for the Mumbai Ranji side and also done well for the Mumbai Indians in the past seasons. Unfortunately after getting in R P Singh he didnt get any chances. Happy to see that he made the most of the one that he got today. This though appears to be the plight of an upcoming players if he plays for a big team brimming with international names. I lower rung teams (no offense to them, they have done really well) players like Awana, Mandeep, Rahane (rahan was with MI is the first 3 seasons and got very few matches) get decent opportunities but in big teams players like Dhaval Kulkarni, Iqbal Abdulla in KKR (he was their best bowler last season) get limited exposure. Perhaps time for BCCI to introspect here a bit. If they want to promote and groom younsters then this is the platform. Maybe a rule to have 1 or 2 players aged below 22yrs mandatorily in the playing 11.

  • push_10dolkar on May 20, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    What is this "retirement" fascination for the media. Now on cricinfo and had read it a couple of other news-sites too. Dravid said that he would take too months off and then decide on his future. So pls give him his two months, instead of speculating whether he has played his last competitive cricket match. He has played well this season, captained brilliantly (difficult task given limited resources and big shoes of the mercurial Shane Warne to fill) and looks very fit. So why should he retire. Even in test cricket I believe he still had a lot to offer and could have carried for a year or more (same is the case with Sachin) but with every failure if the media question you about your future then probably it becomes difficult to continue and hastens the retirement. Let us just enjoy the last few years of these "once in a generation cricketers" before bollywood, money-minded industrialists and politicians completely destroy cricket. Anyways is there a replacement for Dravid, Sachin?

  • Bruisers on May 20, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    Two huge weak links are filled in now- the opening combination and the 3rd seamer. Smith did well as expected but Kulkarni was the real star of the day with 4-1-18-3. Sensational stuff by the youngster. For the playoffs, get Munaf/Ojha in place of RP depending on the pitch type..

  • on May 20, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    Took MI long enough to realize that D.Smith is a natural opener and good batsman and should not be batting at 5 or 6. Well done sir and the little master

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  • on May 20, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    Took MI long enough to realize that D.Smith is a natural opener and good batsman and should not be batting at 5 or 6. Well done sir and the little master

  • Bruisers on May 20, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    Two huge weak links are filled in now- the opening combination and the 3rd seamer. Smith did well as expected but Kulkarni was the real star of the day with 4-1-18-3. Sensational stuff by the youngster. For the playoffs, get Munaf/Ojha in place of RP depending on the pitch type..

  • push_10dolkar on May 20, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    What is this "retirement" fascination for the media. Now on cricinfo and had read it a couple of other news-sites too. Dravid said that he would take too months off and then decide on his future. So pls give him his two months, instead of speculating whether he has played his last competitive cricket match. He has played well this season, captained brilliantly (difficult task given limited resources and big shoes of the mercurial Shane Warne to fill) and looks very fit. So why should he retire. Even in test cricket I believe he still had a lot to offer and could have carried for a year or more (same is the case with Sachin) but with every failure if the media question you about your future then probably it becomes difficult to continue and hastens the retirement. Let us just enjoy the last few years of these "once in a generation cricketers" before bollywood, money-minded industrialists and politicians completely destroy cricket. Anyways is there a replacement for Dravid, Sachin?

  • push_10dolkar on May 20, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Good to see Dhaval Kulkarni playing today and doing well. He has been a consistent player for the Mumbai Ranji side and also done well for the Mumbai Indians in the past seasons. Unfortunately after getting in R P Singh he didnt get any chances. Happy to see that he made the most of the one that he got today. This though appears to be the plight of an upcoming players if he plays for a big team brimming with international names. I lower rung teams (no offense to them, they have done really well) players like Awana, Mandeep, Rahane (rahan was with MI is the first 3 seasons and got very few matches) get decent opportunities but in big teams players like Dhaval Kulkarni, Iqbal Abdulla in KKR (he was their best bowler last season) get limited exposure. Perhaps time for BCCI to introspect here a bit. If they want to promote and groom younsters then this is the platform. Maybe a rule to have 1 or 2 players aged below 22yrs mandatorily in the playing 11.

  • KXIP_is_underestimated on May 20, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    No credit to sachin or smith .... As we all have seen the luck was on their side and really appreciate kulkarni . Tait must work on his line and does not spread the problem to other bowlers

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on May 20, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Sachin Has Self Respect Unlike DADU I MEan Dada Who Got humiliated By SHakib in His Last Match of any Type of Cricket By Not playing Tamim Iqbal....Great Dady

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on May 20, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    I mean Dadu* Correction...........

  • on May 20, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    It may be a one off match for Kulkarni's performance, for Indian bowler to strike consistently is more important, unlike Chandila. One Off match Heros.

  • mar2000 on May 20, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    So nice to see Dwayne Smith doing well in the IPL . The West Indies selectors just do not understand this guy ability .The IPL is where he belong and some day the WICB will come calling . Then it will be too late .

  • CricOr on May 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    What push_10dolkar says is very true. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2011/content/story/526147.html. Cheers