The Mumbai Indians kept their winning streak at home intact with a 14-run win over the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday night. MI posted a competitive 166 on the back of Aditya Tare's 59 before their bowlers blew open the RR top-order, eventually restricting them to 152.
Chasing 167, RR lost Rahul Dravid (4) as he was adjudged caught behind off a Mitchell Johnson bouncer. The decision to promote James Faulkner (12) up the order failed as he was caught by Glenn Maxwell top-edging Dhawal Kulkarni in the fourth over. Sanju Viswanadh (4) found Maxwell as he miscued Johnson attempting a pull. The collapse continued as Ajinkya Rahane (4) fell in the sixth over, caught by Lasith Malinga off Kulkarni to leave RR reeling at 28 for four.
Shane Watson slammed consecutive sixes off Malinga in the 8th over in an attempt to get the run-chase back on track. Watson (19) however departed soon after, caught by Kieron Pollard off Pragyan Ojha in the tenth over. At the halfway stage RR were 60 for five, still needing 107 runs.
Stuart Binny (37*) played a lone hand as he smashed a six and a boundary off Ojha. However wickets fell around him as Dishant Yagnik (10) was bowled by Harbhajan Singh. Needing 61 from 30 balls, Brad Hodge – who was put down by Ambati Rayudu - smashed Ojha for four boundaries in the 16th over. Needing 23 at the start of the final over, Malinga trapped Hodge (39) leg before Cooper smashed a six. However RR finished 14 runs short.
Earlier, RR won the toss and put MI in. The hosts started in grand style as Glenn Maxwell smashed a six off Faulkner in the second over. He followed it with two more off Ankeet Chavan. Watson provided the breakthrough as he trapped Maxwell (23) leg before wicket. Tare, playing his first game of the season, got going hitting consecutive boundaries off Chavan before launching Watson into the crowd. MI made 49 from the Power Play. Tare was put down on 24 by Dravid off Binny.
Tare smashed consecutive boundaries off Faulkner as he brought up his maiden IPL fifty. Dinesh Karthik (21) was caught in the deep off Pravin Tambe. Tare (59) followed him in the next over as he miscued Cooper to be caught by Watson. Pollard slammed Pravin Tambe for a six in the 14th over and Rohit Sharma (14) top-edged Faulkner to Watson in the 16th over. RR pulled the run-rate back as they kept picking up wickets towards the fag end. Cooper ran out Pollard (17) before Ambati Rayudu (7) holed out off Watson. Harbhajan hit Cooper for a six in the 19th over as MI eventually posted 166 for eight, losing Johnson and Malinga in the final over.
Man-of-the-match: Aditya Tare
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 166 for 8 (Aditya Tare 59, Shane Watson 2-30) defeated Rajasthan Royals 152 for 7 (Brad Hodge 39, Dhawal Kulkarni 2-21) by 14 runs.
1: Kieron Pollard was run-out for the first time in an IPL match – in his fourth year and after playing 52 innings!
2: Number of players to aggregate 500 runs and take 10 wickets in a single edition of IPL. Shane Watson emulated Jacques Kallis who did so in 2010.
8: Number of matches won by Mumbai Indians at home. They are the second team to win all eight games at home in IPL 2013 after Rajasthan Royals.
18: Number of catches taken by Kieron Pollard at Wankhede – most by any fielder at a ground in IPL.
5486: Runs scored by Brad Hodge – most by any batsman in Twenty20 cricket. He got his record back from Chris Gayle, who has 5484 runs against his name.
Dravid: I thought we fought hard both, with the ball and the bat. Great effort by Binny and Hodge. Would have taken the target, credit to Mumbai for the way they bowled in the last four overs. We fight quite hard and while we have had tough games, we have been competitive. On his dismissal, happens, sometimes you get away with some, sometimes they don't go your way.
Rohit: Everything went pretty well, thought we were 10 short with the bat and bowled well. We know the conditions well at Mumbai, there were certain plans we decided on and executed them well. Credit to Tare, the way he was working throughout the season. All the coaches have been working with him hard. Looking forward to the playoffs, have one more league game first.
Tare is the man of the match for his half-century: Was a difficult time, sitting on the bench, watching all the time. Wanted to improve my game, Ranji Trophy season helped my game. Was a bit nervous at the start but grateful to my teammates, Rohit, Wright had a lot of good things to say. My game's improved since 2010, fortunate to be training with so many greats and thank Kiran More for my wicket-keeping skills.