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Monday, 01 April 2024 21:33

Parag fifty helps RR win by 6 wickets in 126-run chase.

By Patrick Compton.

Trent Boult with the ball and Riyan Parag with the bat combined to help the Rajasthan Royals crush the Mumbai Indians by six wickets in their Tata IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

First of all the Royals restricted MI to the lowest score in this year's competition to date, 125 for nine, thanks mainly to an explosive opening by Boult who took three wickets in his first two overs, as well as wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who also claimed three wickets.

Chasing this most modest of totals, the Royals suffered some early blows but were rescued by a mature innings from Parag who struck his second consecutive half-century.

The right-hander did what he had to do, keeping out the peerless Jasprit Bumrah and punishing the other bowlers after getting himself in. In all, he struck five fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 39-ball 54 as Royals reached their target with 27 balls to spare.

The Royals have now won their first three matches and lie at the top of the table with six points and a superior net run rate. By contrast, Mumbai have lost their first three matches. They will not panic, they often start competitions slowly, but they have thinking to do.

First IPL wicket for Maphaka

On a fresh, well-grassed pitch, the fast bowlers were able to extract plenty of life out of the new ball. Mumbai’s early successes began with South Africa's 17-year-old prodigy Kwena Maphaka who had Yashasvi Jaiswal caught at cover in his first over, claiming his first IPL wicket in the process.

The other three wickets were all down to paceman Akash Madhwal, who dismissed Sanju Samson (played on), Jos Buttler (hooking to fine leg) and Ravi Ashwin (caught off a leading edge) to return the excellent figures of 3-20. But he and the other Mumbai bowlers simply didn’t have enough runs to play with after their earlier collapse.

Kiwi paceman Boult, who received the player of the match award, gave his team a sizzling start after the Royals had won the toss and chosen to bowl first. The left-arm fast bowler claimed the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Naman Dhir in consecutive deliveries in his first over.

First he angled one across Sharma who edged to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson who dived to pick up the first of a number of excellent catches by the visitors. Then Boult got one to swing into Dhir who was trapped leg before.

South Africa’s Dewald Brevis became the third batsman to succumb first ball when he lashed Boult in his second over to Nandre Burger at backward point who clung onto a sharp chance. That made the score 14 for three after just 14 balls and worse was to follow as Burger delivered a potent ball that bounced prodigiously for Ishan Kishan to edge to Samson.

That made it 20 for four in the fourth over and new captain Hardik Pandya and Tilak Varma had a tough job ahead of them to revive the innings.

This they duly did with some brave and aggressive strokes as the pair added 56 in 36 balls in a breathless first half of the innings.

But then it was time for the spinners to take over, and wrist spinner Chahal disposed of Pandya (34 off 21 balls) as he mistimed a drive to long-on. Chahal went on to claim 3-11 in his four overs, getting Varma (32 off 29 balls) well caught by Ashwin at backward point and Gerald Coetzee caught at extra cover by Shimron Hetmyer.

Hetmyer had earlier pulled off the best of the catches, leaping to his left at backward point to grab a rocketing edge from Piyush Chawla off Avesh Khan.

In all, it was a superb display of bowling and fielding by the Royals with Boult taking 3-22 off his four overs and Burger 2-34.

Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Naman Dhir, 4 Tilak Varma, 5 Hardik Pandya (capt), 6 Tim David, 7 Gerald Coetzee 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Akash Madhwal, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Kwena Maphaka

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Dhruv Jurel, 7 Ravi Ashwin, 8 Trent Boult, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Nandre Burger, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.