CLT20 opener: Rajasthan Royals thrash Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets
Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals began their Champions League Twenty20 campaign in superb fashion as they thrashed IPL-VI champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Group A match, here on Saturday.
It was good all-round show by the hosts as they first restricted the visitors to 142 for seven, using helpful conditions well, and then comfortably overhauled the target with two balls to spare at Swai Man Singh stadium.
Opener Sanju Samson survived an lbw decision off left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson at individual score of one and went on to score a 54-run knock, that set up the victory.
Samson shared a 74-run stand for the second wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (33) after early fall of skipper Rahul Dravid and then Shane Watson Watson came up with a breezy 27 to steer the side to finish line as Rajasthan yet again proved that they are a force at home turf.
Mumbai, who were asked to bat, owed their total to skipper Rohit Sharma (44) and burly West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard (42) even as paceman Vikramjit Malik (3/24) did well for the hosts with his three-wicket haul.
Samson, who had impressed in IPL-VI, and Rahane steadily build the innings, relying on rotation of the strike. They punished bad deliveries with some exquisite shots and were hardly troubled by the Mumbai bowlers.
It was one poor shot that ended Rahane`s knock as he was early into a pull shot off Rishi Dhawan, found a bottom-edge which fell on to his stumps.
Samson too departed after completing his half-century but Watson and Stuart Binny ensured that the good work does not got waste.
The two shared a 41-run stand for the unbeaten fourth wicket. Watson took 22 balls for his knock and hit two sixes while Binny`s 27 came off 14 balls with three fours and a six.
Binny finished the match with in style with a six off Coulter-Nile over long-on.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians were struggling at 43 for four at one stage but Sharma stabilised the innings with his sensible batting while Kieron Pollard hit some lusty blows towards the end to up the run-rate.
Sharma`s 44 came off 37 balls with three fours and two sixes while Pollard took 36 balls for his 42, laced with six boundaries including two sixes.
The hosts had things under control under helpful conditions for paceman as it rained before the match but Mumbai scored 55 runs in the last five overs to make it a good contest.
Dwayne Smith (9) had began fantastically with an elegant cover drive off the first ball of the match but was trapped by Malik. The short ball kept low and Smith was caught plumb.
Tendulkar punched two boundaries off James Faulkner and one off Shane Watson but the pitch had something for the bowlers, so the IPL champions made a steady start.
But things changed quickly as Malik bowled Dinesh Karthik (2) and Tendulkar (15) was caught behind off Stuart Binny when he tried to drive a good length ball.
As if that was not enough new batsman Ambati Rayudu (3) was run out after a mix up with skipper Sharma.
Sharma kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos in company of Kieron Pollard and the visitors raised their fifty in the last ball of the 10th over when their skipper lofted Binny for a four over point.
The Mumbai skipper played some beautiful flicks and pulls and hit two sixes off Watson -- first a well-timed scoop and second a ferocious pull on full toss -- but the Australian succeeded in removing the dangerman.
Pollard then did a splendid job for Mumbai before becoming the third victim of Malik in the last over.