The 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was originally scheduled to kick off on March 29. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in an indefinite postponement with the possibility of it being cancelled. So we’re reliving some of the best clashes between the franchises and standout performances. Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR) was set to be the blockbuster match of the day (April 14) as per the original schedule.
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Mumbai Indians are presently the most successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise and under Rohit Sharma they have won the league in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals stunned everyone in the inaugural season by getting their hands on the trophy despite having a seemingly low-key squad under the leadership of legendary spinner Shane Warne.
Mumbai have won nine out of 21 contests against Rajasthan, with one match being abandoned due to rain. In the past two seasons, Mumbai have not managed to beat Rajasthan despite being the defending champions ahead of IPL’s 13th edition.
Five closely-fought contests:
The Tanvir-Patel show (2008)
The two teams facing each other for the second time in the inaugural season. After getting to 71/1 in the 11th over, Mumbai could only manage to put 145/7 on the board. A batting collapse, thanks to Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Tanvir, stopped Mumbai from accelerating. However, wicketkeeper-batsman Yogesh Takawale’s 8-ball 24 helped his team post a fighting total.
Rajasthan’s run chase started to fall apart. Batsmen like Kamran Akmal, Shane Watson, and Mohammad Kaif failed to capitalise and they were 77/5 in 12 overs. That’s when Ravindra Jadeja and Niraj Patel rose to the occasion and kept the run chase alive. In the final over, they needed 15 runs to win.
Dilhara Fernando faltered and Patel did the bulk of scoring, including a six off the third delivery, to release the pressure. Patel’s best IPL performace of 40 runs from 29 balls took Rajasthan to a five-wicket victory, and finish on top of the league.
Warne-Patel choke Mumbai (2009)
It was a match in which Rajasthan’s bowling lineup snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat in South Africa. After an abandoned game between the two, Rob Quiney’s half-century and Jadeja’s 42 helped Rajasthan post a total of 145/7 on a tricky Durban wicket where the ball was doing a bit for spinners.
After losing three wickets in the powerplay overs, the responsibility was on Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar’s shoulders. Tendulkar kept scoring from one end, but the Aussie leg-spinner dismissed him after a 30-ball 40 batting at No.5.
Just when Rajasthan thought they were in control, Abhishek Nayar played a blinder. But he was run out in the penultimate over after an 18-ball 35. Mumbai needed six runs off eight balls and had three wickets left.
Warne handed the ball to Munaf Patel to defend four runs in the last over. There were two run-outs, one lbw dismissal and five balls later Mumbai were all out after having scored just one of the four runs. Rajasthan’s two-run win had hurt Mumbai’s chances of reaching the playoffs.
Harbhajan finishes off in style (2013)
The stakes were high as it was the second qualifier of IPL 2013. Rajasthan got off to a decent start after winning the toss and batting first. Brought into the attack by Rohit to break a partnership, Harbhajan repaid the captain’s faith by getting rid of Rajasthan’s top three batsmen — Dravid (43), Ajinkya Rahane (21) and Watson (6).
Chasing 166, Mumbai were in trouble after Rayudu was dismissed, and six were needed off four balls. But the hard-hitting Harbhajan walked in and finished the match with a boundary off Watson.
Corey Anderson magic with a dash of Tare (2014)
If you look at the scoreboard, it looks like Corey Anderson’s brute innings helped Mumbai Indians chase down a total of 190 easily with 31 balls to spare. But in that game, Mumbai needed to chase 190 in just 14.3 overs to qualify for the playoffs.
In the first innings, Sanju Samson (74) and Karun Nair (50) were aided by cameos from Brad Hodge and James Faulkner to post 189/4.
Lendl Simmons (12) and Mike Hussey (21) were dismissed in the powerplay overs after getting Mumbai off to an ideal start. Corey Anderson walked in and got off the mark with a four and a six off Watson. No bowler seemed to trouble the southpaw. He continued the assault even as Pollard and Rohit were dismissed cheaply.
Anderson then found a partner in Rayudu, who smashed a 10-ball 30. But Rayudu was run-out off the third delivery of the 14th over.
As per the new equation, Mumbai needed a boundary off the next delivery to qualify for the playoffs. Faulkner needed to prevent a four, but bowled a juicy full toss that wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare hit over square leg boundary for a six to seal a playoff spot. At the other end, Anderson remained not out at 95 runs from 44 deliveries.
Krishnappa Gowtham thrashes Mumbai’s best (2018)
Mumbai Indians had it all under control when Krishnappa Gowtham came in to bat in the 18th over, with Rajasthan needing 43 runs off 17 balls. Mustafizur Rahman had the ball and Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya would bowl the next two overs to defend a target of 168. Gowtham started by hitting Rahman for a six off the third delivery he faced. He followed it with a boundary the next ball.
Rajasthan now needed 28 from 12 balls. Bumrah bowled the penultimate over. First, Jofra Archer got a boundary. Bumrah bowled a no ball. The extra ball cost Mumbai, as Gowtham managed to get two more boundaries, and Bumrah ended up giving 18 runs. In the last over, Gowtham held his nerve against Pandya despite Archer being dismissed off the first ball. He finished the chase with a four and six taking Rajasthan to a memorable win on their home ground.
Other outstanding performances:
Pathan hits fastest ton
Even though Mumbai won the match, the contest is remembered for Yusuf Pathan’s 37-ball hundred, the fastest at that time and second-fastest of all time. In the first innings, Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu’s half-centuries helped Mumbai post a daunting total of 212/6. Rajasthan’s run chase was derailed as they were reduced to 66/4 in the 10th over. The run chase seemed over, but Pathan had different ideas.
He dominated the middle overs hitting Ali Murtaza for three sixes in a row, smashed Ryan McLaren to all parts of the ground, and destroyed Rajagopal Sathish with a 26-run over. Pathan reached his maiden IPL ton with a six. The Baroda batsman was unluckily run out in the next over as Sathish deflected the ball onto the non-striker’s stumps during his follow-through.
Paras Dogra tried to revive the run chase with a 25-run assault in the 18th over but it wasn’t enough as Lasith Malinga defended 12 runs in the last over without any hassle.
Botha’s domination floors Mumbai (2011)
Mumbai Indians suffered one of their worst defeats after scoring just 94 runs in 20 overs. Mumbai lost their top four for 50 runs in 10 overs. Johan Botha then dismissed big-hitters Andrew Symonds, Kieron Pollard, and Sathish. The off-spinner bowled two overs, picked up three wickets and gave just six runs.
Rajasthan’s run chase got off to a slow start with Rahul Dravid getting out after scoring just five runs from 16 balls, and Botha walked in to bat at No.3. Opener Watson was dismissed for 26 and Ross Taylor struggled to score on the Jaipur pitch, but the Proteas all-rounder didn’t let it affect him. He scored a match-winning 45, helping his side chase down the target with 11 balls to spare.
Superstar Watson (2011)
Shane Watson showed the world why he is one of the best all-rounders in white ball cricket. The Australian opened the bowling and got the wicket of opener Tirumalasetti Suman, then came back into the attack to send Rayudu and Pollard back to the pavillion. This helped restrict Mumbai to 133/5 despite Rohit’s half-century.
Watson then walked out to bat, seemingly with a point to prove. He dominated the likes of Harbhajan and Malinga to help Rajasthan win the match by 10 wickets with 41 balls to spare, and remained unbeaten for 89 runs from 47 deliveries.
Buttler carries his bat and Rajasthan to victory (2018)
Jos Buttler helped Rajasthan register a victory in a must-win clash. With three games to go, Rajasthan needed to win all three to have a chance to qualifying for the playoffs. Buttler came up with a IPL career-best performance to ensure Rajasthan chased down 169 with two overs to spare. Buttler smashed 94 runs from 53 balls, which included nine fours and five sixes.