Yashasvi’s Unbeaten 104 Help Rajasthan Thash Mumbai

A five-star performance from Sandeep Sharma (5/18) and a determined and authroitative century from Yashasvi Jaiswal (104* off 60) powered Rajasthan Royals (RR) to a nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in Match 38 of the TATA IPL 2024, which saw Yuzvendra Chahal become the first player in the history of IPL to take 200 wickets, at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Wily Sandeep Sharma impressed with his variations and bowled a brilliant spell of 5/18, including three wickets in the final over, to restrict MI to 179/9. Boult too played a vital role with the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Nehal Wadhers (49 off 24). Jaiswal and Jos Buttler (35 off 25) then came out firing on all cylinders and set the tone with a 74-run opening stand. Jaiswal took over the mantle after Buttler’s departure and scored a brilliant ton. He was ably supported by captain Sanju Samson (38* off 28) as the duo stitched an unbeaten 109-run stand off 65 balls. Jaiswal fittingly finished it off in style with a four as RR put on a splendid show in Jaipur.

Chasing 180, Rajasthan Royals got off to a solid start, smashing 61/0 in the Powerplay. In a tremendous display of power and placement, Impact Player Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal unleashed some wonderful strokes as the duo hit 10 fours and one six in the first six overs. The highlight of the Powerplay, however, was the battle between Jaiswal and Coetzee. Jaiswal welcomed him with a thumping six straight down the ground. Coetzee then beat him with sheer pace a few times and also induced a top edge which flew away for a four off a sharp bouncer. Jaiswal finished the over with an authoritative punch through the covers for a four to make it 16 off the over. Buttler and Jaiswal took the attack to MI’s Impact Player Nuwan Tushara, hitting him for four fours in the last over of the Powerplay.

Play was then interrupted due to rain. And it seemed to help MI gather their thoughts. They pulled things back post the break as Piyush Chawla broke the 74-run opening stand by cleaning up Jos Buttler (35 off 25).

Jaiswal then released the pressure with a six and a four and then reached his first fifty of the season off 31 balls. Soon after, he received a lifeline as Nehal Wadhera dropped him at long off, off Chawla.

Jaiswal and Samson upped the ante, hitting three sixes and in the process, Samson received a lifeline as he was dropped at long on off Hardik Pandya in the 13th over. Jaiswal and Samson brought up the 50-run stand and made MI pay dearly. Jaiswal upped the tempo, smashing a six off Chawla and then hitting Bumrah for a six and a four to put RR in the driver’s seat with 29 needed off 30. It was a cruise from then on as Jaiswal brought up his century off 59 balls and RR chased down the target with balls to eight spare.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya, who was playing his 100th IPL match for MI, won the toss and elected to bat.

RR were up and running in style as they dismissed the MI top-order inside the first four overs. Trent Boult started off doing Trent Boult things as he dismissed Rohit Sharma in the first over. Rohit went for a big heave across the line but ended up top-edging it high in the air. Sanju Samson settled under it and did well to pouch a tricky catch. Samson was in action soon in the next over as an excellent review saw Ishan Kishan walk back after he nicked one to the keeper off Sandeep Sharma.

Sandeep struck another crucial blow as he sent back Suryakumar Yadav who miscued his flick to long on. Mohammad Nabi then broke the shackles in the last over of the Powerplay, cracking a couple of fours and a six to take MI to 45/3 at the end of the sixth over.

Nabi, though, didn’t last long as Yuzvendra Chahal had him caught and bowled with a lovely flighted leg-spinner. A special delivery, brought out a special celebration from Chahal as he reached the special milestone of 200 wickets, becoming the first bowler to reach the landmark in the IPL.

MI were in desperate need of a partnership. Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera provided it as they stabilised things and brought up MI’s 100 in the 13th over and their 50-partnership off 36 balls. The pair then changed gears and smashed a couple of sixes and a four off Avesh Khan to take 19 runs off the 14th over. It included a stunning 86 m one-handed six from Wadhera. 11 runs followed in the next over. Varma then brought up his fifty in style with a powerful six off Chahal. He was given out LBW next ball but he decided to review it, and replays showed it was missing leg. Wadhera continued the momentum in the over, cracking two more sixes to make it 20 off the over.

Boult came back and finally broke the 99-run stand as he had Wadhera caught at short third man off a slower one. Wadhera departed for a well-made 49 off 24. RR bounced back in the final three overs, conceding just 18 runs and picking up four wickets.

Avesh trapped Hardik Pandya LBW in the penultimate over, while Sandeep picked up three wickets in the last over, dismissing Varma (65 off 45), Gerald Coetzee (0 off 1) and Tim David (3 off 5) to cap off a brilliant night and register his maiden fifer in the IPL. MI finished with 179/9, but it was a very good recovery from 20/3 in the fourth over. Jos Buttler came out to open the batting as an Impact Player, replacing Chahal, while debutant Nuwan Tushara came on as an Impact Player for MI, replacing Suryakumar Yadav.

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