Jaipur, April 20: Steve Smith announced his return to form in style and led from the front as Rajastha Royals registered a convincing five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their return-leg IPL encounter at Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Saturday (April 20).
In response to Mumbai's 161/5, Royals reached home with 5 wickets and as many balls to spare and always looked at ease in the run chase.
Leading from the front Smith, who was appointed the Royals' captain before this game, scored an unbeaten 59 off 48 deliveries as the Men In Pink remained unbeaten against Rohit Sharma and Co in the league stage of the tournament. They had defeated Mumbai in the latter's backyard as well.
Before the start of the match, the franchise stunned all by their bold move to replace Ajinkya Rahane with Smith as the captain of the side for the remainder of the season.
After winning the toss, Smith opted to bowl first and his bowlers, especially Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal ensured the visitors couldn't post a challenging total on a track that favoured batsmen. Gopal drew the first blood for his team when he removed the visiting captain Rohit Sharma (5) in his very first over. The leg-spinner then got the better of set Quinton de Kock (65) in the 15th over and prevented the southpaw to punish them in the death overs.
Jofra Archer (4-0-22-1) bowled exceptionally well in the middle and death overs and prevented the likes of Hardik Pandya (23) and Kieron Pollard (10) to do much damage. Suryakumar Yadav (35) forged a good partnership with De Kock for the second wicket but he was also dismissed by Stuart Binny at a critical juncture.
Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni were tad expensive but Archer and Gopal's tight bowling prevented the visitors from posting a big total.
In the run chase, the opening pair of Ajinkya Rahane (12) and Sanju Samson (35 off 19) gave the hosts a flying start and they never looked back in the run chase. After Rahane's early departure, Samson and Smith forged a crucial partnership and never let the pressure of scoreboard trouble them.
After Samson and Ben Stokes (0) were sent back by Rahul Chahar (3/29) in a single over, it seemed the hosts might make a Royal mess in the chase but teenager Riyan Parag (45) played brilliantly and steered his team through. The 17-year-old stitched a crucial 50-plus partnership with his skipper and played some exquisite shots in his stay into the middle before getting run out.
Parag's sensible knock kept the pressure off Smith's head and the skipper anchored his innings well. Smith remained unbeaten till the end and took his team home.
Here's how the match between RR and MI panned out:
Steve Smith, Winning captain and Man of the Match: I haven't contributed as much as I would've liked through the tournament and it feels really nice to have gotten the boys over the line. Hopefully we can carry it forward from here. We can't worry about others' results, it's just about us and our game. We showed a lot of courrage to pull them back to 160 and executed our plans really well. It's never good when you don't take your catches, but Jofra pulled it back really well for us with the ball and was terrific. Parag was really impressive; I have been watching him in the nets and with the bat looks like a seasoned campaigner. He's a great kid and has a great future, I hope I was as confident when I was 17. When you are young and come into a team you have a care free attitude and kept playing his shots. We just need to stay focussed on the processes, we just need to turn up and win. Every game's a final, and we have to win each one. Let's hope it turns out well for us.
Rajasthan Royals now become only the second team to beat Mumbai Indians in four consecutive matches in IPL after Chennai Super Kings (2014-15).
It's all over! Rajasthan Royals have defeated Mumbai Indians by 5 wickets. Steve Smith leads his team home with an unbeaten fifty.
5 runs and a wicket came from the penultimate over bowled by Bumrah. RR - 158/5 in 19 overs. They need 4 more from 6 balls.
Wicket! Turner departs for a duck as he's been trapped plumb in front by Bumrah. This is the second time in a row that he's been dismissed for a golden duck on consecutive matches. RR - 153/5 in 18.1 overs
8 runs came from that over bowled by Hardik Pandya. RR - 153/4 in 18 overs. 9 needed from 12 balls. Smith and Turner are present in the middle.
Run Out! Riyan Parag's brilliant innings (43 off 29) comes to an end as he's been run out while taking a double. Ben Cutting's throw was collected brilliantly by Hardik and boom. #RR - 147/4 in 17.4 overs.
Fifty!! Captain's knock! Steve Smith gets to his half-century off 40 deliveries. He's anchored the run chase well for his team.
And the news for Australia's opponents at the World Cup is that Steven Smith is starting to look his old self again....— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 20, 2019
Four! Steve Smith gets a boundary off Bumrah. Good start from the skipper.
9 runs came from that over bowled by Malinga. RR - 137/3 after 16 overs, 25 needed from 24 balls. Hosts are cruising at the moment.
Very impressed with young Riyan Parag. Something about him. #RR have been really positive today and negated spin by taking 48 from 4 overs off K Pandya and Markande— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 20, 2019
Four! Parag hits Malinga towards off-side for a boundary. Superb shot from the 17-year-old.
A 50-run partnership between Smith and Parag off just 41 deliveries. RR - 128/3 after 15 overs. 34 needed from 30 balls now. MI desperately need a wicket.
SIX!! Riyan Parag is shifting gears now, he clears Chahar over mid-wicket for a maximum. He's taken the pressure off Steve Smith's shoulders.
Four, Four! Back-to-back boundaries from Parag off Hardik Pandya. 10 runs came from that over. RR - 118/3 after 14 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah continues to be at his economical best as he concedes just 5 from it. RR 108/3 after 13 overs. 54 needed from 42 balls.
Four came from Hardik Pandya's over. RR - 103/3 after 12 overs. 59 needed from 48 balls.
9 runs conceded by Krunal Pandya. Smith and Parag are batting well, punishing the loose deliveries and taking quick singles and doubles to put pressure on the fielding side. RR 99/3 after 11 overs.
Four! Riyan Parag slog sweeps Krunal Pandya and gets a boundary. The teenager is playing well at the moment.
4 runs came from that over bowled by Rahul Chahar. He's stopped RR surge in the run chase and put a brake on the flow of runs. RR - 90/3 after 10. They need 72 from 60 balls.
0,0,4,1,0,4! Smith and Riyan Parag got a boundary each in that over bowled by Markande and Rajasthan Royals reach 86/3 after 9 overs.
Bowled!! Rahul Chahar is on fire as he gets two wickets in this over. He cleans up Ben Stokes for a duck. RR 77/3 after 8 overs.
Wicket! Sanju Samson's innings of 19-ball 35 comes to an end. He tried to hit Rahul Chahar for a maximum but failed to connect it well. Pollard took a simple catch in the deep. #RR - 76/2 after 7.2 overs.
15 runs came from that over bowled by Markande and RR - 75/1.
SIX!! Steve Smith goes down the track and hits Markande over mid-wicket for a maximum. It seems captaincy is suiting Steve Smith.
12 runs came from that over bowled by Malinga. RR - 60/1 after 6 overs, they need 102 more from 84 balls at 7.28 runs per over.
Four! Steve Smith gets a boundary towards third man region off Malinga and brings up fifty for his team.
Jasprit Bumrah concedes just four from his first over. RR - 48/1 after 5 overs. They need 114 more from 90 deliveries.
Wicket! Ajinkya Rahane (12) mistimes Rahul Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav takes a fine catch to end his innings. RR - 39/1 (3.4 overs)
Chahar only bowls 15% of his overs in the Powerplay phase but he has a strike rate of 15 when he does bowl there. Introducing him early was an unusual move from Rohit but it worked immediately and brought the wicket. #IPL #RRvMI @rajasthanroyals— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) April 20, 2019
7 runs came from that over bowled by Lasith Malinga and RR reach 31/0 after 3 overs as they chase 162. Samson - 22* (10) Rahane - 4* (8)
Review Lost! Mumbai Indians go upstairs to review the leg before appeal against Rahane but the replay showed the ball was missing the wickets.
1,4,1,1,4,4! Sanju Samson is dealing in boundaries at the moment. He smashed three fours in that over bowled by Krunal. RR - 24/0 after 2 overs.
Clearly the plan is that Samson goes for it early. And he is. Not bludgeoning but carving.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 20, 2019
Positive start for Royals in the run chase as they get 9 from the first over. Samson hit Hardik Pandya for two boundaries.
Hardik Pandya the weakest link in the MI attack bowls first over. Rahane gets 1 run off 3 balls. Samson gets 8 off next 3. #RR— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 20, 2019
2nd Innings! Rahane and Samson open innings for Rajasthan. Hardik Pandya starts with the new ball for Mumbai.
Jofra Archer finishes his quota of 4 overs with 4-0-22-1. He conceded 6,2,5,9 from his four overs.
Jofra Archer has bowled 15 yorkers this season - that is the fourth most of any bowler behind Chris Morris (22), Mohammad Shami (21) and Sam Curran (18).
SIX!! Ben Cutting finishes the innings with a maximum on the final delivery of the innings. MI reach 161/5 in 20 overs. Brilliant bowling in the death overs by Archer.
Didn't get the finish but it seems apparent that run-getting becomes difficult as the ball gets older. This might be enough for #MI— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 20, 2019
Wicket! Hardik Pandya's 23 run knock comes to an end as he's trapped in front by Archer. It was perfect yorker from the bowler and they went upstairs to review it as the umpire called it not out. Good review from RR captain Smith. MI - 152/5 in 19.1 overs.
19 runs came from that over bowled by Unadkat. MI 152/4 after 19 overs.
150 comes up for Mumbai Indians with a single from Pandya.
SIX!! Hardik Pandya hits Unadkat straight over his head and the ball lands outside the boundary. Superb shot.
Dropped! Jofra Archer puts down a sitter at long-on and Hardik gets another breather.
In that innings Jofra Archer dropped three catches. @rajasthanroyals' fielding impact was -15.4 runs. That is the third lowest fielding impact by any team in any innings this season. That could be the difference between a win and a defeat. #IPL #RRvMI @rajasthanroyals @mipaltan— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) April 20, 2019
Four! Hardik Pandya gets a boundary towards third-man, it was slashed hard and the ball sailed towards the boundary. MI - 140/4 in 18.2 overs.
4,1,0,0,0,0! Good comeback from Jofra Archer after getting hit for a boundary. He bowls four dot balls in a row. #MI - 133/4 after 18 overs.
Four! Hardik Pandya hits a boundary on the very first ball of Archer.
Four! Ben Cutting opens his account with a boundary. MI - 128/4 after 17 overs.
SIX!!! Pollard hammers Unadkat for a maximum over mid-wicket
Superb over from Jofra Archer as he concedes just 2 from it. MI 114/3 after 16 overs.
Safe! Hardik Pandya dragged his bat just in time to avoid run out. The direct hit from Rahane had almost sent him home.
Wicket! Quinton de Kock's (65) knock comes to an end as he tried to up the ante for his team. Stokes takes the catch and Gopal gets another wicket. MI - 111/3 after 14.3 overs.
Wicket! Another well-directed short ball from Binny and Suryakumar Yadav (34) holes out to the deep fine-leg fielder! Kulkarni takes the catch and MI lose their second wicket.
100 comes up for MI in the 13th over. They reach 102/1 after 13 overs. Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav need to explode from this stage.
SIX!!! Quinton de Kock flicks Jaydev Unadkat for a maximum. He's looking to score quickly.
1,1,1,1,0,2! Tidy over from Shreyas Gopal as he concedes just 6 from it. MI - 87/1 after 11 overs.
Four! Quinton de Kock brings up his half-century with a boundary. He faced 34 balls. This is his third fifty of the tournament. Mumbai Indians reach 81/1 after 10 overs.
10 came from that Riyan Parag over and Mumbai Indians reach 72/1 after 9 overs.
SIX! Suryakumar Yadav hits Riyan Parag for a maximum. This is his first six of the innings. He's looking in good touch.
Four! A boundary from De Kock's bat off Binny brings up fifty-partnership between him and Suryakumar. 9 runs came from that over. MI 62/1 after 8 overs.
2,0,1,2,1,1! 7 runs came from Riyan Parag's first over. MI - 53/1 after 7 overs.
8 runs came from that Unadkat over and MI reach 46/1 after 6 overs. De Kock (33*) is looking in sublime touch.
Four! Quinton de Kock hits Archer towards cover region for a boundary.
19 runs came from that over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni. De Kock hit some clean boundaries and a six in that over. MI - 32/1 after 4 overs.
Four, Four, Four, SIX! Hat-trick of boundaries and a maximum Quinton de Kock on the first four deliveries bowled by Kulkarni.
Wicket! Superb comeback from Shreyas Gopal after getting hit for a boundary. Rohit Sharma (5) gives a simple return catch to the leg-spinner. MI - 11/1 after 2.3 overs.
Four! Rohit Sharma hits the first boundary of the innings. Short-pitched delivery from Gopal and the batsman gives the treatment.
Tidy over from Dhawal Kulkarni as he too concedes just three from it. MI - 6/0 after 2 overs.
1st innings! Stuart Binny bowls the opening over for RR and conceded just three runs. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma open innings for Mumbai.
Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(C), Quinton de Kock(wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Rahul Chahar, Mayank Markande, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Sanju Samson(wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith(C), Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
Rohit Sharma: The wicket looks a bit strange. We were going to bat anyway. We have defended well as a unit. We just need to keep working as a group. Win or loss doesn't matter. We need to keep improving. Jayant Yadav misses out. Mayank Markande makes it to the side. RR have a lot of right-handers so we've included one more leggie.
Steve Smith - We'll bowl first as I'm not sure of the wicket, what it's going to do. Chasing would be a good option. Ajinkya has done a terrific job in the last one and a half year and the team management thinks there's a need for a change. I have done a bit of leadership in the IPL with a bit of success, hopefully I can lead the team well. Plenty of games coming up in the next few days. We got three changes, I come in for Buttler who's gone back for the birth of his child, Stokes is back in the team in place of Ish (Sodhi) and Riyan Parag comes in for Tripathi.
Toss: Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith wins the toss and invites Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma to bat first.
No Jos Buttler for Royals today. He’s flown home to be with his wife Louise for the birth of their first child.
Steve Smith to take over the Rajasthan Royals captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane.