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38th Match (N), Jaipur, April 22, 2024, Indian Premier League
(18.4/20 ov, T:180) 183/1

RR won by 9 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
148.93 ptsImpact List

Sandeep Sharma five-for, Yashasvi Jaiswal ton hand Royals comfortable win

Royals signed off from the Jaipur leg of their campaign with a seventh win in eight matches to cement their table-topping status

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
Rajasthan Royals 183 for 1 (Jaiswal 104*) beat Mumbai Indians 179 for 9 (Tilak 65, Sandeep 5-18) by nine wickets
Sandeep Sharma announced his return from injury with magnificent figures of 5 for 18, the best by any bowler in this season's IPL, before Yashasvi Jaiswal blazed back to form with a sparkling 59-ball century, as Rajasthan Royals signed off from the Jaipur leg of their campaign with a seventh statement win in eight matches to cement their table-topping status.
Set a middling 180 for victory after a Mumbai Indians' innings that owed everything to a 99-run fifth-wicket stand between Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera, Royals' chase was signalled and sealed by Jaiswal, who had 31 from 18 balls prior to a 30-minute rain delay, before converting his first fifty of a difficult season into a towering 104 not out from 60 balls.
Jaiswal added 74 in eight overs with the in-form Jos Buttler, who made 35 from 25, and a further 109 in 65 with Sanju Samson, whose terrible reprieve on 19 by Tim David at midwicket was the moment all hope evaporated for Mumbai. By then, Jaiswal had also had a major let-off, on 50, when Wadhera at deep cover dropped a leading-edged swipe off Piyush Chawla over the ropes for six.
Mumbai's performance was summed up by the deployment of their two outstanding bowlers of the campaign. After being riled by a first-ball slap for six, Gerald Coetzee bowled like the wind in his solitary powerplay over, visibly troubling Jaiswal with his 150kph-plus pace, in particular with a top-edged pull that flew over the keeper for four. Yet he was not given another over until Jaiswal was into the 80s, when he again got a well-set batter flinching, but by this stage the match was already lost.
And though Jasprit Bumrah bowled with his peerless verve up front, including a two-run first over to limit Buttler's early intentions, he too was held back too late into the chase - and when he did return, his comeback over was not a success. A first-ball no-ball was followed by a second-ball wide on height, where upon Jaiswal swung the rolled-over free hit for six, en route to a 16-run over, Bumrah's most expensive of a stellar season.
Boult, Sandeep boss the powerplay
At the Wankhede three weeks ago, Trent Boult silenced Mumbai's home support with the prized scalp of Rohit Sharma, who grazed his first ball of the match - and the fifth of the innings - through to Sanju Samson behind the stumps. It was a case of rinse-and-repeat in the rematch: Rohit c Samson b Boult, again from the fifth ball, albeit this time with 6 to his name. One filleted four through deep third, then a wild swing through the full length, for Samson to rush round from behind the stumps and gather with a tumble. Remarkably, it was the 26th time that Boult had struck in the first over of his IPL career.
Mumbai had batted first after winning the toss, on the proviso that there's not a lot of dew on offer when chasing in Jaipur. There was, however, sufficient movement off another dry surface to reward Royals' attacking full lengths, and after one ball of the fourth over, Sandeep had launched a memorable performance in style, to reduce his opponents to a ropey 20 for 3.
The first of his victims was Ishan Kishan, caught behind for a third-ball duck as he went fishing to Sandeep's wide line, pushed tantalisingly up into his arc. Then, after a flurry of two fours in three balls that had hinted at riches to come, Suryakumar Yadav swung without timing across the scrambled seam, and was already wincing as the ball plopped into Rovman Powell's hands at midwicket.
Mohammad Nabi ended the powerplay with an 18-run flurry against Avesh Khan's first over, but at 45 for 3, the damage at the top was already telling.
200 up for Yuzvendra Chahal
Only two bowlers in the history of T20 cricket had previously taken 200 wickets in a single competition - Danny Briggs and Samit Patel, both in the T20 Blast. With his extraction of Nabi in his first over of the night, Yuzvendra Chahal became the third entry on that list, and against Mumbai too - the team for whom he had made a one-off, wicketless debut in his maiden IPL season in 2013.
The moment arose with another cunning piece of bowling, as Nabi, on 23, closed the face on the front foot to lob a leading edge back to the bowler, off his third delivery. Chahal sunk to his knees as his team-mates engulfed him, fully aware of the feat of excellence and endurance that he'd just recorded. And, at 52 for 4, Mumbai were on their knees too.
Tilak, Wadhera find some fight
Measured at first - particularly while R Ashwin was rattling through four wicketless overs for 31 - and then with mounting assurance, Mumbai's revival was entirely down to two of the younger men in their ranks. Tilak led the line with a combative 65 from 45, bringing up his fifty with a six that also made him, at the age of 21 years and 166 days, the third-youngest player to 1000 IPL runs.
However, it was the less heralded Wadhera, playing his first match of the season, who provided the impetus that met the needs of this extraordinarily high-scoring edition. His 49 from 24 balls included three fours and four sixes - two of them in consecutive balls from Chahal, who moments earlier thought he had managed to trap Tilak lbw for 55 on the reverse-sweep.
DRS, however, showed the ball to be missing off, and the pair celebrated the reprieve with the verve of a century, which spoke volumes for the importance of their stand. But, as it turns out, their alliance would end on 99 from 54 balls when Boult was recalled to the attack for his final over. His first delivery was a slower-ball bouncer, which Wadhera could only lob to backward point.
Sandeep applies the gloss finish
At 170 for 5 in the 18th over, Mumbai still had designs on a 200-run total, but Royals' death bowlers had other ideas. Avesh was on the mark to pin Hardik Pandya lbw for 10 as he walked across his stumps, and after leaking just six runs, even with Tim David looking to cut loose, Sandeep snapped the innings shut.
Tilak's excellent knock ended with a tumbling take from Powell at long-on, following which Coetzee's first-ball launch picked out Shimron Hetmyer down the ground. David finally got the strike back with three balls remaining but he too picked out a boundary rider to make it three wickets in the over, and 5 for 18 all told for Sandeep.
Not only were they the best figures by an Indian bowler for Royals, Sandeep's figures marked a triumphant return after an injury-plagued season - he had previously managed one wicket in two outings before a side strain had kept him sidelined for most of a month.
Jaiswal finds his range at the right time
After two double-centuries and more than 700 runs in a startling Test campaign against England, Jaiswal's IPL had been something of a comedown - just 121 runs and a top score of 39 in seven previous knocks. But there's never been any doubting his precocity, and when he did finally reach his first fifty of this campaign, the acclaim on the Royals bench was notable. They are already top of the table at the halfway mark, after all … if he is hitting his straps for the run-in, so much the better for their prospects of a second title.
By the end, it was as if he'd never been away. His innings was studded with eight fours and seven sixes, including the winning carve through point off Tilak with eight balls left unused. On his watch, Royals are four points clear at the top, and getting better with every outing.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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Over 19 • RR 183/1

RR won by 9 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
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