Ahmedabad, May 19 :
Rajasthan Royals’ race for a place among the top two suffered a set-back after they suffered a 25-run loss to defending champions Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here Monday.
It was a strong batting performance that took Mumbai Indians to a competitive 178 for three in 20 overs. A century-run stand between Mike Hussey (56) and Lendl Simmons (62) gave Mumbai Indians an early control of the match while a blistering 19-ball 40 by skipper Rohit Sharma put them completely on top.
They put on a fine bowling performance too as barring Karun Nair (48), Brad Hodge (40) and James Faulkner (31 not out) none of the Rajasthan Royals batsmen could get to double figures and the side managed 152 for eight in 20 overs.
Rajasthan Royals are third with 14 points from 12 matches while Mumbai Indians are sixth with eight points from 11 outings.
Mumbai Indians’ offie Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the bowlers, bagging two for 13 from his four overs, while leggie Shreyas Gopal got two for 25. Pacer Krishmar Santokie and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha got two wickets each as well.
It was a quickfire 24-ball knock by Nair, who hit three sixes and four fours, even as wickets kept falling at the other end. Rajasthan Royals were 75/7 in the 12th over before Hidge and Faulkner raised some hope with their 69-run stand for the eighth wicket.
But all hopes were dashed once Hodge fell in the 19th over trying to slog Santokie and was caught by Rohit at long-on.
Earlier in the day, Hussey and Simmons stitched a 120-run opening stand that gave Mumbai Indians a firm control of the match. Hussey was dominating right from the start as he smashed three fours and two sixes during his 39-ball stay.
While Hussey went after the attack, Simmons held up one end taking 51 balls for his 62. Simmons also hit six fours and two sixes and was the first to go off left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma, who also picked up Hussey three balls later in the 15th over.
What followed next was pure carnage by Rohit, who smashed the Rajasthan Royals bowlers to all parts of the ground for a late onslaught.