Skipper Smith keeps Royals afloat with crucial victory over Mumbai - GulfToday

Skipper Smith keeps Royals afloat with crucial victory over Mumbai

Smith

Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith plays a shot against Mumbai Indians during their IPL match on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Steve Smith (59 not out) played a captain’s knock as Rajasthan Royals (RR) kept their play-off hopes alive after defeating Mumbai Indians (MI) by 5 wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Saturday.

Despite wickets falling at regular intervals for Rajasthan, Smith kept one end intact and ensured that his team crossed the line with five balls to spare. Smith’s innings was laced with five boundaries and a six.

Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag too supported their skipper with useful knocks of 35 and 43, respectively.

Chasing a modest target of 162, the hosts started on a positive note, scoring 31 runs in the first three overs before Rahul Chahar drew the first blood for Mumbai as the leg-spinner cut short opener Ajinkya Rahane’s (12) stay in the fourth over.

Samason and Smith were then involved in a 37-run second wicket partnership before Chahar struck again in the eighth over to pack back the former, leaving Rajasthan at 76/2. Four balls later, Chahar added more misery to the Mumbai camp by dismissing Ben Stokes (0).

Smith was then joined by Parag and the duo denied Mumbai from making any further inroads as they both propelled Rajasthan past the 100-run mark in 11.1 overs.

The hosts were comfortably placed at 137/3 in 16 overs and it seemed the two will steer their side to victory. However, Parag fell short of the crease while converting a single and had to depart in the 18th over.

Jasprit Bumrah then trapped Ashton Turner (0) in front of the wicket with Rajasthan still needing 9 runs off the last 11 balls. But Smith ensured that there were no further hiccups as he steered Rajasthan to a much-needed victory.

For Mumbai, Chahar was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/29 while Bumrah bagged one wicket.

Earlier, opener Quinton de Kock’s scintillating 65-run knock helped Mumbai put up 161/5.

Apart from de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav chipped in with a valuable 34 while Shreyas Gopal once again starred with the ball for Rajasthan, conceding just 21 runs from his four overs besides picking up two wickets.

Meanwhile, opener Shikhar Dhawan (56) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (58*) led from the front as Delhi Capitals turned their poor home record with a convincing 5-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.

They reached 166/5 with two balls to spare. With the win, DC now have 12 points from 10 games and have moved one step closer to qualifying for the play-offs.

Chasing 164 for victory, Delhi Capitals didn’t start in the most auspicious fashion as they lost Prithvi Shaw for just 13 in the fourth over, run out by Mandeep Singh. But Shikhar Dhawan was in the mood for a long stay as he looked to take the attack to the KXIP bowlers in the company of skipper Shreyas Iyer.

Earlier, Kings XI Punjab rode on Chris Gayle’s 28th IPL fifty to register 163/7 in their 20 overs. Even as the DC bowlers looked to keep things tight after Gayle’s dismissal, the visitors still managed to pick 45 runs from their last five overs as Harpreet Brar finished with an unbeaten 20 off 12 balls.

Agencies

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