Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 17, 2013

Rajasthan thrash Mumbai to go top

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Rajasthan Royals 179 (Rahane 68*, Yagnik 34) beat Mumbai Indians 92 (Karthik 30, Faulkner 3-16) by 87 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

This match was billed as a clash of the legends, with three of cricket's greatest run-getters - Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar - featuring, and there was the added draw of Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh facing off days after Sreesanth's barrage of tweets re-opened the Slapgate controversy from the first season of the IPL. To dash the dreams of the marketing men, the three legends played 12 deliveries in all, and Sreesanth was rested from the game as Rajasthan Royals wanted to ensure they didn't overwork him soon after a long lay-off.

Still, the fans at the Sawai Man Singh stadium were treated to one of the joys of the IPL, watching journeymen cricketers take their chance in the limelight as Royals brushed away their underdog tag to go top of the table after demolishing the high-profile Mumbai Indians. Dishant Yagnik made the most of being promoted to No. 3 to ensure the momentum wasn't lost after Shane Watson's high-octane start, the unheralded offspinner Ajit Chandila can tell his grandkids he's the first bowler to have dismissed both Tendulkar and Ponting in the same match, and the under-rated Siddharth Trivedi virtually ended the chase by getting the dangerous Rohit Sharma in a wicket maiden.

This was a night on which almost everything went right for Royals. Their Twenty20 superstar Watson took apart Mumbai's main threat, Lasith Malinga, to lead Royals to 58 after six overs. The trouble for Royals has been that they have struggled to kick on once Watson departs - this time in the eight over - but Dravid decided to demote himself and gave Yagnik a go.

Yagnik had shown in the limited chances he has got that he is not short on confidence, and loves to try unorthodox strokes. He began with a streaky four past the keeper, but then became far more assured as he thrashed Kieron Pollard over midwicket for six, and drilled several boundaries to point before falling for a 24-ball 34 while attempting a reverse-sweep.

Ajinkya Rahane was at the other end when Watson and Yagnik were going ballistic, and though he too played some big hits in the Powerplay, he couldn't find the boundary easily after that. He wisely decided to turn the strike over to the power-hitters, anchoring the innings with his typically orthodox strokes. He hit three fours in the final over after an extended dry spell in the second half of the innings, but the real acceleration came from Twenty20 expert Brad Hodge, who slammed a 15-ball 27.

Mumbai had to chase 180 to win, and against the innocuous Chandila and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan, they lost Tendulkar and Ponting cheaply. Tendulkar top-edged a sweep and Ponting lobbed back a return catch, and when Trivedi had Rohit holing out to midwicket in the seventh over, Mumbai were virtually out of it. Pollard was promoted but he was done in by an inswinger from Stuart Binny in the eighth over, after which Mumbai were only looking to limit the margin of defeat. They didn't do too well on that front either, slumping to their biggest loss in terms of runs.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al_Bundy1 on April 19, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    That was a master stroke by Dravid to open bowling with 2 spinners. He knows that both Tendulkar and Ponting are weak against spin.

  • pitch_it_up on April 18, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Top 3 batting positions in Test Cricket (having to face the fast bowlers who would be fresh, and the ball swinging), middle/lower middle order in ODI's (ball gets soft, and don't get time to score runs) are very challenging positions. Rahul has done all that while, sometimes, keeping as well. A selfless team man who took tough challenges. Opening in ODI, and # 4 position in Test cricket (getting shielded by 3 batsmen above him, yet not too late to score runs) are very beneficial positions for a batsman. Sachin got these slots and had been adamant from giving it away. Remember the # of times Azhar, Saurav, Rahul and now Dhoni tried sending him down the order in ODIs for the benefit of the team, and he was always expressed his unhappiness and stuck to that position!! I am glad to see this phase where Rahul is reaping the benefits (albeit a bit late) of his tireless efforts and great work ethic, and awesome attitude!! Go Rahul - the real sportsman!!

  • alarky on April 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Cont'd: Yes Suresh, the IPL franchise owners refused to buy Lara to play in the IPL because they feared the fact that Tendulkar would have been surving in his shadows once again. However, they've not the slightest fear for Pontin, because they know that he cannot test Tendulkar under any sub continent playing conditions. You see the smartness in the strategy? But I challenge them now, to still give Lara one season of IPL and he'll still make them all look like ameteurs at age 45. The evidence of what I'm saying is there for all to see - all Lara's peers were offered a spot to play in the IPL one time or another, BUT NOT LARA! here's some evidence: These are some of the big name players of Lara's time who were allowed to play IPL, while there were fears to pick him: Sanath Jayasuriya, Shane Warne, Glen Mc Grath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Mutiah Muralitheran, Sean Pollock, and on and on! I know that the Indians don't ever practice bigotry - hence, it had to be concealed strategy!

  • alarky on April 18, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    SRT has seriously injured the impact that he had as a cricketer in the last 2 years! Now, he wants to retire; but his abysmal failures are not allowing him to quit the way he planned (via a good performance). So, the PR section of his management team, which has done such a great job to promote him to date, is now doing everything for "damage control", in preparation for that moment of inevitability. So, having noticed that they're not achieving their goals as initially planned, they're now picking on all sorts of other intangibles, to try to give him a good send-off. So, one of the strategies was to hire Ricky Pontin to create a photo opt of both he and SRT opening for the Mumbai Indians - whatever help to be gained. But this PR stunt is backfiring on them big time! Their overrated metal as batsmen when they played is now exposed in the twilight of their careers. And only now I see why Lara was snubbed by the IPL owners. The Indians didn't want SRT to continue to live in Lara's shadows

  • latecut_04 on April 18, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Difference between RR and MI can be seen by watching SRT and RD.Dravid RETIRED from int cricket leaner,fitter and professional than ever.(As Always ofcourse).SRT a contemporary player looks overweight,unfit and burdened.Result--Obvious.Dravid oh Dravid last year i was watching RR's last match with a lump in my throat feeling I would never get to see you play again(had thought you had quit all forms of cricket including IPL).Is there anyone who soes not respect Rahul Sharad Dravid.If there is one he/she must know cricket next to nothing.Rahul--Tell you what I am proud to share the same nationality of Rahul Dravid.Period

  • zero_knowledge on April 18, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    I hope royals continues to win games and make it to the knock out. Last year they stuttered a bit in the middle of the season and had a brain freeze in the final games which knocked them out. Dravid has been brilliant strategically and also has been flexible to try new things. Off course his selfless attitude helps him to drop himself down the order and not give a hoot about it. Cooper who missed out most of the last IPL due to injury has been available which has been good for royals. most of the top order have had 2-3 good knocks. More importantly in spite of not playing any competitive cricket for a year Dravid is still capable of playing good knocks which reaffirms his class :)

  • Aamir23 on April 18, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    Perfect lesson for Mumbai.This is going to happen again in knock out matches with Teams Like RCB Or CSK.Though Sachin and Ponting are great players ,this format does not suit them,especially Ponting,He hardly performed when he played for KKR.Ponting wont be dropped and Winning IPL will remain as Dream for them this year too.

  • SunnyKing1008 on April 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    What is the point if you have the potential and not performing to it, you will end up loosing your battle. Never saw Rickys (australian international) team submitting to the opposition this easily

  • NP_NY on April 18, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    It is very hard not to like RR, no matter which team one supports, just like it is extremely hard for anyone not to like Rahul Dravid. I would give him a 10 out of 10, but I am going to give him a 11 instead for keeping Sreesanth under control so far :).