Powered by a chanceless half century by skipper Steven Smith, Rajasthan Royals cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the ninth match of the Indian Premier League in Ahmedabad. This is the third straight win for the Royals, and this is third straight for the Mumbai team.
Mumbai Indians started the game with some wholesale changes and serious intent. Parthiv Patel, Unmukt Chand, Shreyas Gopal and Pawan Suyal started for the side. Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat first. For a brief while, it appeared that Mumbai side is showing more intent than usual. However, opener Aaron Finch was hit by a quick throw from James Faulkner and was forced to retire hurt. Soon, the Mumbai team found themselves reduced to 45 for 3 at the 10 over. Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson put together a 104-run partnership. Some lusty hitting in the final overs took the score to 165.
The target of 166 was not going to test the street smart Rajasthan Royals batters much. The team started the chase slowly, but steadily. Ajinkya Rahane (46) and Smith relied more on ones and twos to keep the keyboard ticking. They kept the asking rate always under control. Smith opened up in the end overs with flurry of boundaries to finish the match without much drama.
Rajasthan Royals moved to the top of the IPL table with this win. Mumbai Indians seems to have lost the desire to win. Smith is the man of the match.