Kiwi batsman Corey Anderson played an astonishing 95-run knock under tremendous pressure to single-handedly power Mumbai Indians to the IPL playoffs as the hosts rattled Rajasthan Royals by five wickets in a high-scoring thriller in Mumbai on Sunday.
Requiring to chase down a 190-run target within 15 overs, Mumbai Indians overhauled the target in 14.4 overs when Aditya Tare smashed James Faulkner for a six.
In a heart-stopping finish, when scores were tied at 14.3 overs, Tare pulled off one of the most memorable strokes of his career that helped his side sneak into the playoffs.
It was a humongous task to score 190 runs in 14.3 overs but Anderson, who holds the world record of scoring the fastest hundred in ODIs, showed his worth with one of the most destructive knocks in the IPL.
Anderson’s 44-ball 85 was laced by nine fours and six big hits over the fence. With this win, Mumbai edged out Rajasthan on net run-rate to book a Qualifier match against Chennai Super Kings.
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Anderson did what Yusuf Pathan did to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
Mumbai were 61 for 3 and staring down the barrel but the aggressive southpaw and Ambati Rayudu shared a game-changing 81-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Rayudu blasted 30 runs off just 10 balls to sustain the flow of runs. Tare delivered the final blow with a first ball six off left-arm quick Faulkner, who conceded 54 runs without taking a wicket. Royals bowling was taken to the cleaners on Sunday.
Earlier, after put into bat, young guns Sanju Samson and Karun Nair came up with responsible knocks to help Rajasthan Royals post an imposing 189 for four.
Samson finally converted a start as he scored 74 off 47 balls. He was well assisted by Nair, who took 27 balls for his 50-run knock. The duo got the innings back on track after the visitors lost skipper Shane Watson early.
Samson, who opened the innings instead of Ajinkya Rahane, hit three sixes and seven fours, while Nair’s knock was studded with two sixes and seven fours.
Big-hitting Australians Brad Hodge (29 not out) and James Faulkner (23 off 12 balls) then joined hands in the last five overs to add 49 runs for the fourth wicket.
Royals were 59 for one at half-way mark and went on to score 130 runs in the last 10 overs.
Faulker swung Harbhajan Singh for successive sixes over mid-wicket and a square-cut four in the offie’s final over, 17th of the innings, to take the score past 150. Faulkner slammed one more six before holing out to Anderson in the deep off Pollard while Hodge remained unbeaten at the other end.
Mumbai felt the absence of the injured Praveen Kumar and death bowling expert Lasith Malinga. Experienced spinner Harbhajan was carted for 43 runs for the wicket of Watson while the others too failed to stop the flow of runs.