Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 15, 2013

Bowling might takes Mumbai to No. 1


Mumbai Indians 166 for 8 (Tare 59, Watson 2-30) beat Rajasthan Royals 152 for 7 (Hodge 39, Kulkarni 2-21, Johnson 2-23) by 14 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

On a slightly surreal night, Rahul Dravid lost his cool and shouted at the umpire, Kieron Pollard mocked Shane Watson so much he made him leave the dugout and go into the dressing room, Pollard was run out for the first time in the IPL, Mumbai Indians scored just 34 in the last five overs, but their bowling might won them the match comfortably and all but sealed a place in the top two. Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings now have one more win than Rajasthan Royals, and also a higher net run rate accumulated over 15 matches, which will take some doing to overcome.

Mumbai might not have finished their innings well despite 59 off 37 balls from Aditya Tare, who had replaced the injured Sachin Tendulkar, but it was their start with the ball that eventually sealed the game. Two wickets each from Mitchell Johnson and Dhawal Kulkarni reduced Royals to their worst Powerplay score of all time: 29 for 4. Watson wasn't one of those wickets, but he top-edged a Pragyan Ojha long hop before he could cause much damage.

Royals were 58 for 5 in the 10th over when Watson fell but Brad Hodge, held back to No. 8, and Stuart Binny tried to put the chase on track, and even brought the equation down to 38 off three overs. However, Lasith Malinga bowled two of those overs and he went for five and eight in them.

Royals could claim similar success with their bowling towards the end of the first innings, but the start wasn't that good. Mumbai opened with the new pair of Tare and Glenn Maxwell, who weren't pretty but were effective. After Maxwell for 23 off 17, Tare took over and went after all Royals bowlers without discrimination. However, he was only 24 off 15 when Dravid dropped a catch at short midwicket. He rubbed it in by pulling Binny over Dravid's head next ball.

When he finally fell, at 108 for 3 in the 13th over, Tare had set Mumbai up for possibly a score of 200. Some superb fielding and canny bowling from Royals, including Pollard's run-out by Kevon Cooper and James Faulkner's last two overs for just 11 runs, kept Mumbai down, but not for long.

Having recovered from his poor game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Johnson was creating breakthroughs at the top. In the first over, he might have got Dravid caught at the wicket without the edge, but it was a sharp bouncer nonetheless. Royals continued holding Watson back, and Mumbai kept running through the rest.

When Watson finally arrived, Pollard started talking to him immediately. While Watson seemed furious, Pollard seemed to be laughing almost mockingly. Watson hadn't even faced a ball. The umpires had to tell Pollard off, but he eventually had the final mock when Watson - under the pressure of falling wickets and rising asking rate - mis-hit Ojha to Pollard. After celebrating wildly, Pollard went to his boundary post and seemed to have another conversation with Watson, who sat in the dugout behind him.

Eventually, Watson left the place in disgust, and finally Hodge got to bat when Royals lost another wicket. Royals needed 79 from 43 when he came in, but he and Binny brought the target down with sensible hitting. Hodge hit Ojha for four fours in the 16th over, which included a drop by Ambati Rayudu, but Malinga ensured Mumbai's clean sheet at home.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    I always have respect for Rahul Dravid, but I believe he has gone too far about this. I don't see a big issue about this. Funny thing is, Indian bowlers are the world famous off guys in the world. If Rahul wants to dig about this further, I'm asking him that where was he, when Ishanth gave a send off to Symonds in year 2008 tour ? Rahul was a member of that team at that time. Dig those then !

  • BRK on May 17, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Watson got what he gave... Now Its time for Pollard.. After a couple of good knocks he started feeling he is almighty.. He'll surely get this back.. Bravo too has got back for what he did last year..

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Kaushik.....Watson is not doing this for the first relax...he got what he was deserving...

  • Anshuman on May 17, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    I am a big fan of Dravid n hence respect him a lot but i jst dint like him favoring watson just bcoz he is in his team... watson will remain an ausuie no matter fr which team he plays...dravid should also comment on watson's behavior on field wid opponents, even he sends off batsmen rudely aftr gettin dem out, now wat happened to him wen he is treated in d same manner...wen watson sledges its fine but wen he is being sledged den he goes to d umpire crying like a kid...grow up watson!

  • Ankit on May 17, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    I wonder if that attitude is because what RR did with Mumbai in Jaipur. Payback is good but have to be in limits as per the behavior is concerned. I actually didn't got a chance to watch match completely but what i am aware is dravid is not gonna lose his temper very very easily. It would have something special arrogance that baught that anger. And about Waty- Pollard scene, i don't why but i feel its gonna get hotter and hotter. And for god sake they both meet again, wooooww, i don't know what Watty is gonna do. He may be over tempered and give his wicket or can win match on its head. Exciting. Lets see what happen in future. I hope they both meets in playoffs.

  • Ali on May 17, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    those two have a history... Dravid should stay out of it ...

    it did not start in that one game .....

    Watson gives it back to Pollard when he is ready .....

  • Ronnie on May 16, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    I have watched a lot of matches that Pollard has played and he has always been arrogant on the field and please, the guys out there, if it means IPL entertainment, I do not agree with them. If a batsman gets out and sitting on the dug-out, it does not give a license to Pollard to say what he wants, it is sheer total arrogance on his part

  • Suresh on May 16, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    I think SRH is the biggest surprise of this IPL season, hope it moves forward.

  • o on May 16, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    @Prats6 He didn't abuse anyone in the dugout he was simply fielding on the boundary and Watson was staring him down glaring and he simply smiled or laughed then Watson threw his toys out the pram and stormed off - think a bit to much has been made of it really especially when Watson has constantly been one of the most aggressive sledgers that gets in batsman faces and sends them off, overall comes off as a guy that can give it but can't take it to me as the analysts pointed out on ITV4.

  • Pratyush on May 16, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    I sometimes wonder why is it so difficult for people to accept their mistakes? Rohit kept saying, 'I dont know... I dont know!.." Its his job to know, he better be good at it. Aggressive does not mean abusing someone sitting in the dugout. Its was simply pathetic. This is not gully cricket.. Young people watch and emulate the stars. What is the message going out? Shameful.