First-person reports from the stands

Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Jaipur

April 18, 2013

Mumbai didn't come to the party

Koustubh Sharma

Sachin Tendulkar is ecstatic as Mumbai strike again , Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Mumbai, April 29, 2012
If this man's visiting your city, you better show up at the ground. Pity, though, that this man's team didn't quite show up © AFP
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Choice of game
All matches in Jaipur are special to any cricket fan living here since we don't get to watch as much international cricket as those living in the metros do. Add to it, Sachin Tendulkar visiting our city and it becomes an un-missable match.

Team supported
It is a proud feeling to have a representative team that has been a great entertainer for the past five seasons. I have supported Rajasthan Royals since they lost their first match to Delhi Daredevils in 2008. I am a Royal for life.

Key performer
Ajit Chandila's two blows upfront along with his economical bowling made sure Mumbai Indians never got back on their feet.

One thing I'd have changed about the match
We all would have loved to see some fireworks from Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. The pair was a strong reason for such a huge turnout, but they ended up disappointing the fans. However, they did get a very loud send-off, because the local fans knew how dangerous they could have been.

Face-off I relished
Slinga Malinga v Watto. It was a treat to watch the batting powerhouse of Royals hit 16 runs off Mumbai's strike bowler.

Wow moment
When Stuart Binny knocked out the off stump of danger man Kieron Pollard, the crowd was on its feet.

Close encounter
Brad Hodge held on to a catch off Dinesh Karthik and made a gesture to the crowd by punching both his hands in the air.

Shot of the day
There were many awesome shots played by both sides, though more by Royals, but Dishant Yagnik's pick-up slog to the stands off Pollard was a delight to watch since nobody expected the small batsman to go that long.

Crowd meter
There were about 30,000 people in the stands, most supporting Royals and all supporting Tendulkar. The biggest cheers are always reserved for the two Indian greats, Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

Funny moment
The Royals' bowling was even better than their amazing batting performance, with Mumbai's batsmen were falling like dominos. In one instance, Ambati Rayudu played the ball and ran, but his non-striker, Harbhajan Singh, didn't respond. The stumps were uprooted at the striker's end, and it was really funny to see Rayudu and Harbhajan argue over who was out.

It was a perfect script for the home side, beating the mighty Mumbai by such a huge margin. The atmosphere in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium is always electric, and the home side winning by 87 runs was a cherry on the cake.

Marks out of 10
7. Though the home side was outstanding, I had expected Mumbai to put up a better fight, considering they had some big names compared to Royals. It was disappointing to see a strong batting line-up get bowled out for 92.

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Koustubh Sharma is taking a chartered accountancy course along with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Xavier's college, Jaipur. His love for cricket grew stronger after the 2003 World Cup. He loves to write and a book is on its way soon. He loves every sort of sport, though as an Indian, cricket brings out the best in him.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 18, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

Thanks for the nice comments Yogi. I too believe what you said is absolutely true. The leadership have been a key factor for the Royals, producing match winning knocks from rather unknown faces, just like Yagnik did in yesterday's match. Royal for life.

Posted by Yogesh on (April 18, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Good report, Koustubh! Though US-based, I am from Pune/ Mumbai originally and I too have been a loyal RR fan since the first edition of the IPL. They are a fantastic, fun, spirited, electric side that make people want to watch them. How they consistently manage to pull off performances like yesterday's is worth analyzing and perhaps putting into practice elsewhere in Indian cricket. Perhaps it is the leadership - first Shane Warne, now Rahul Dravid. Perhaps it is the quiet backing of the franchise owners. But definitely the atmosphere in the team always seems encouraging and lifts people to perform to their highest potential. Go Royals!

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