Mumbai end Rajasthan hopes, heat up play-off race with win - GulfToday

Mumbai end Rajasthan hopes, heat up play-off race with win

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Mumbai Indians' players celebrate the wicket of Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals during their IPL match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Courtesy: IPL Website

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Neesham wreaked havoc to help Mumbai set up a fascinating eight-wicket victory against Rajasthan in their Indian Premier League match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Coulter-Nile and Neesham shared seven wickets between them, conceding a combined total of 26 runs in the eight overs put together. They were well assisted by Jasprit Bumrah, who also picked up two wickets.

Ishan Kishan scored a blazing fifty to steer Mumbai to an emphatic victory after the bowlers tied down Rajasthan to set a paltry target of 91.
Mumbai chased down the target in just 8.2 overs.

With the victory, not only did Mumbai boost their chances but also ended Rajasthan’s hopes of qualifying for the play-off.

They have moved to the fifth spot with 12 points and keeping it hot on the heels of Kolkata, who are fourth and have 12 points as well.

Earlier, Rajasthan got off to a decent start but lost the momentum after the fall of their first wicket. Mumbai pacers bowled mesmerisingly and did not let Rajasthan batsmen settle down.

Neesham and Coulter-Nile ran through the top and middle order to rip them apart. Rajasthan batsmen were found dancing on the crease to adjust to the pace and the bounce of Mumbai quicks.

It was Coulter-Nile, who triggered the skid. After that, Rajasthan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and failed to get the partnerships going.

Their batting collapsed like a pack of cards under pressure and they did not look like a pale shadow of the same team who chased down a whopping 190 run against Chennai Super King in their last match.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis gave Rajasthan a reasonably good start as the opening pair added 27 runs for the first wicket. Coulter-Nile had Jaiswal, who had score 21-ball 50 against Chennai to set the tone for a successful chase, caught by Kishan to give Mumbai first breakthrough.

The dismissal of Jaiswal opened the floodgates for the Mumbai bowlers who were lurking to launch an ambush on the Rajasthan batsmen.

One over later, Bumrah also sprang into action and trapped Lewis in front of the wickets to make it 41/2. Lewis had also scored a quick-fire 12-ball 27 against Chennai to give a blistering start to Rajasthan along with Jaiswal.

With both the openers back in the pavilion captain Sanju Samson was joined by Shivam Dubey, who was the architect of their victory against Chennai.

Dube had scored 65 of 41 deliveries to steer Rajasthan to victory after Samson had taken the match deep against Chennai.

Samson is one of the top three scorers in the tournament.

He has scored 480 runs with the help of two fifties and one century. But he failed to create the same magic when it mattered the most and was dismissed by Neesham, who was playing his first game of the season.

Samson holed out to Yadav in the point while trying to cut the Kiwi pacer. Coulter-Nile and Neesham choked the flow of the runs which frustrated the struggling Rajasthan batsmen as they started playing reckless shots and threw away their wickets.

Neesham uprooted the stumps of Dube to reduce Rajasthan from 41 for 1 to 48 for four. With four wickets down, Rajasthan needed someone to play a sheet-anchor role to revive the stuttering innings.

But, it was not to be so as the worst was yet to come. In his next over, Coulter-Nile rattled the stumps of Glenn Phillips to leave Rajasthan in tatters.

David Miller and Rahul Tewatia shared a 21-run partnership for the wicket in a bid to bring the faltering innings back on the track.

Neesham got Tewatia caught by Kishan to break the partnership and derail innings again. Miller waged the lone battle for a while as the wickets kept on falling at the other end.

Shreyas Gopal failed to get off the mark and holed out to Kishan off Bumrah as Rajasthan were left in rot.

Coulter-Nile clean bowled Chetan Sakariya after trapping Millar in front of the stumps as Rajasthan could manage to muster a modest 90 - the lowest score of the tournament and 100 lesser than their score of the previous match.

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