Recent Match Report – Royals vs Mum Indians 24th Match 2021
Mumbai Indians 172 for 3 (de Kock 70*, Krunal 39, Morris 2-33) beat Rajasthan Royals 171 for 4 (Samson 42, Buttler 41, Chahar 2-33) by seven wickets
Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 70 off 50 balls consolidated the Mumbai Indians’ position in the top four on the points table as they defeated the Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in Delhi.
Chasing for the first time in IPL 2021, de Kock’s knock ensured Mumbai never let the asking rate become an issue. Krunal Pandya supported him well with a 26-ball 39 as Mumbai reached the target with nine balls to spare.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma put the Royals in on a pitch he reckoned was much better to bat on than the slow tracks of Chennai. Jos Buttler (41 off 32) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (32 off 20) gave the Royals a 66-run start in 7.4 overs before both fell to Rahul Chahar. Sanju Samson, too, struck a 27-ball 42 but Shivam Dube’s 35 off 31 didn’t let the Royals reach where they wanted to.
Buttler, Jaiswal make up for slow start
Trent Boult found swing with the new ball to trouble Buttler in the first over and Jasprit Bumrah hit the good length at a high pace to keep the Royals openers in check. As a result, the Royals could score only 20 in the first four overs.
But once Boult and Bumrah were done with their spells, Buttler and Jaiswal opened up. Buttler skipped down the pitch to the first ball of the fifth over, by Jayant Yadav, but was lucky that the miscued slog just cleared backward point. Later in the same over, Buttler dispatched Jayant for a four and a six off successive balls.
Jaiswal meted out the same treatment to Nathan Coulter-Nile in the next over as the Royals ended the powerplay on 47 for no loss.
Vettori: Looks like a strategic move to bat Dube at No. 4
Chahar’s strikes put brakes on scoring rate
For a moment, it looked like there was no stopping Buttler and Jaiswal. Buttler hit Jayant for another six to take the side past 50. When Sharma brought Chahar on, Buttler smashed him too over the deep square-leg boundary but Chahar struck back on his next ball to beat the batter with with flight and turn to give de Kock an easy stumping.
In Chahar’s next over, Jaiswal slog-swept a googly for a six, but the bowler bounced back once again. Two balls later, Jaiswal closed the face of the bat too early to spoon a googly back to Chahar. That wicket put the brakes on the scoring rate as the Royals managed only 30 runs from the 10th to 14th over.
Bumrah restricts Royals at death
Samson had started by caressing three fours in his first six balls. After that five-over lull, he hit Boult for two fours in two balls but with Dube struggling at the other end – he was 28 off 27 at one point – that didn’t help the Royals as much.
Boult uprooted Samson’s middle stump with a yorker, while Bumrah was yet again exceptional at the death by aiming for the batters’ toes. Bowling the 17th and 19th overs, Bumrah gave away just nine runs which was a big factor behind the Royals scoring only 45 from the last five overs despite having wickets in hand.
de Kock leads Mumbai’s chase
After only 14 runs came from the first three overs of the chase, de Kock decided to cut loose. He started the fourth over by steering Mustafizur Rahman for four behind point. On the next ball, he hopped towards the off side and swiped the seamer for a six over fine leg.
Morris came on for the sixth over; de Kock welcomed him with a pulled six over midwicket. All this while, Sharma was struggling at the other end. His laborious 14 off 16 balls came to an end when he chipped the last ball of the powerplay, an overpitched delivery from Morris, straight to mid-on.
Suryakumar Yadav started in his usual stylish manner with back-to-back fours off Rahul Tewatia. But he too fell to Morris, whipping one straight to Buttler at short midwicket. de Kock, though, kept Mumbai on track and brought up his fifty in 35 balls.
Krunal’s cameo takes Mumbai closer
With 53 required from 36 balls, the Royals were still in the game, especially given Mumbai’s misfiring middle order this season. But Krunal, sent at No. 4 ahead of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, never let the asking rate go out of hand. He hit the first balls of the 15th, 16th and 17th overs for a six, four and six respectively to take the pressure off de Kock as well. By the time he chopped on against Rahman, Mumbai needed just 26 off 20.
Pollard started the 18th over with a six and four off Morris, who responded with a bouncer. Pollard ducked, the ball hit his helmet and rolled to the fine-leg boundary. A four each from de Kock and Pollard in the next over took Mumbai home.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo