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IPL-2024: Rajasthan Royals’ ongoing Jaitra Yatra is their 7th win in a row: Jaiswal (104*) helps RR beat MI by 9 wickets

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Yashasvi Jaiswal scored an excellent 104* off 60 – his second IPL ton and his second against Mumbai Indians – to backup an excellent five-fer from Sandeep Sharma as Rajasthan Royals thumped a hapless Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur for their seventh of the season, a drubbing of the five-time champions that edged the hosts closer to a Playoffs berth. It was the returning Sandeep’s 5 for 18 that was instrumental in keeping Mumbai Indians down to a sub-par total of 179, a score that Jaiswal helped chase down with nine wickets and eight balls to spare, thereby signalling his return to form after a subdued start to the season.

In the two PowerPlays of the game. Mumbai Indians were reduced to 45/3 after electing to bat by the pair of Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma. They recovered well through a 99-run stand between Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera but were unable to get a finishing kick. In the chase, RR’s openers Jaiswal and Jos Buttler raced off the blocks and once the hosts had 61 on the board in the PowerPlay, they could cruise to the finish line.

In IPL 2024, MI have had 50+ run PowerPlays against every other team except RR. For a second time in this fixture this year, the Royals also took three wickets in the first six overs. After a five-game drought, Trent Boult struck in the first over after Rohit Sharma miscued an attempted swipe across the line. Sanju Samson, who claimed that skier, also took the catch and claimed the review that sent Ishan Kishan back for a three-duck ball. To the scalp of Kishan, the returning Sandeep also added the big wicket of Suryakumar Yadav, who chipped a catch to mid-on as MI stumbled after making to 45/3 in the PowerPlay after the bold call of batting first.

MI promoted Mohammed Nabi up to stem the deluge of wickets. To that extent, his 17-ball 23 can be considered as job done but at 52/4 in the eighth over, MI had a big task on their hand. They were unafraid to pair Tilak Varma with another southpaw in Nehal Wadhera even with R. Ashwin left with three overs.

The two young batters were calculated in their approach and found the boundaries without any untoward risk. Varma hit Ashwin over his head for a six while Wadhera pulled the veteran for a four. Having done the rebuilding job, the pair went on the attack, with Varma hitting Chahal for a pair of fours before Wadhera took on Avesh for a brace of sixes. Varma got to a half-century off 38 balls while Wadhera fell for a 24-ball 49. His dismissal to a Trent Boult slower bouncer ended the partnership on 99 (52).

At the end of 16 overs, MI were 151/4 and the stage for a final push when Boult dismissed Wadhera. The final push never came as RR produce a death-bowling clinic. Avesh, who struggled all day, gave away just six runs for the wicket of Hardik Pandya in the 19th. Sandeep Sharma then went one better in the 20th, dismissing Varma and Gerlad Coetzee with scrambled-seam slower balls before Tim David swung a full toss to deep mid-wicket. Only 3 runs came off the final over as Sandeep ended with a sensational 5 for 18, a spell that included 13 dots. MI lost 4/28 in the final four overs to finish on 179/9

In stark contrast to Mumbai Indians as well as their own PowerPlay record this season, Rajasthan Royals raced away to a dominant 61/0 in the PowerPlay, scoring as many as 11 boundaries. Both Jos Buttler and Jaiswal faced 18 balls each and scored 31 and 28 respectively. Their fast start forced Hardik Pandya to bowl two overs of Bumrah in the PowerPlay but the batters navigated those to pick up 11 runs.

When play resumed after a 30-minute rain break, Hardik had his two spinners, Piyush Chawla and Nabi, operating in tandem and hoping to cash in on their respective match ups. Chawla was successful when his flipper castled Buttler for a 25-ball 35. The veteran legspinner should have also dismissed Jaiswal on 50 but Wadhera put down a fairly simple chance at long-off and also ended up pushing it for a six. That heralded a period of MI benevolence in the field coinciding with RR’s batting brutality. Samson and Jaiswal struck a six each off Nabi before the RR captain was reprieved at long-on by David. Jaiswal upped the ante further, slamming Chawla for a six over long-off before taking on Bumrah in the pace ace’s belated third over.

The game was all but done at this stage with RR needing only 28 runs from the final 5 overs. The finish was all about Jaiswal and his century, which he achieved by cutting a single to sweeper cover off his 59th ball. It ended a sequence of low scores for the youngster and he celebrated with familiar gusto. Three balls later he cut a boundary to seal the deal.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 179/9 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 64, Nehal Wadhera 49; Sandeep Sharma 5-18, Trent Boult 2-32) lost to Rajasthan Royals 183/1 in 18.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 104*; Piyush Chawla 1-33) by 9 wickets

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