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IPL-7: Mumbai Indians shock Rajasthan Royals to pinch play-off berth

There was absolutely no ambiguity about the task at hand for Mumbai Indians after skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and put Rajasthan Royals in to bat in the last league game of IPL-7 at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.

MI's Corey Anderson smashes one for a six at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
MI's Corey Anderson smashes one for a six at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK 

With both teams vying for the remaining playoff spot, the defending champions needed to overhaul RR's total in only 88 balls in order to advance.

Unfortunately for the hosts, they were left staring at a whopping 190 for victory after their opponents had batted magnificently, especially after the 10th over, to amass 189.

And boy, did Mumbai make a fist of the chase! They did the unthinkable, hunting down this mammoth target with five wickets in hand.

New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who had endured an ordinary season thus far, did a star turn for Mumbai, hammering an unbeaten 95 runs off only 44 balls as Mumbai hung in by the skin of their teeth, in what turned out to be the most dramatic game this season.

So tight was the contest that Mumbai needed to hit a boundary off the fourth ball of the 15th over to sail through when the scores were tied after 14.3 overs. And remarkably, Aditya Tare, facing only his first ball off James Faulkner, hammered it over the fence, sending the near-packed stadium into a frenzy.

Mumbai Indians' Aditya Tare celebrates after hitting a six which helped beat Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premiere League at Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Mumbai Indians' Aditya Tare celebrates after hitting a six which helped beat Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premiere League at Wankhede Stadium yesterday.

Timed to perfection
Mumbai timed their chase to perfection and Anderson was very well-supported by the likes of Ambati Rayudu (30), Mike Hussey (22) and Rohit Sharma (16).

Earlier, MI seemed to have done justice to Rohit's decision by tying down the Royals to 59-1 at the end of the first 10 overs. But what followed over the next four overs, with Karun Nair and opener Sanju Samson in the middle was pure carnage that threatened Mumbai's dreams.

Aditya Tare and Shane Watson after MI's victory
Aditya Tare and Shane Watson after MI's victory

The duo put on 100 runs off only 57 balls and although they fell within a span of four balls, they seemed to have done just enough to ensure the visitors held an edge in the contest.

Samson scored 74 off 47 balls and his knock included seven boundaries and three sixes, while Nair, the more brutal of the two, took only 27 balls for his 50.

Nair was particularly cruel in the 11th over of the innings, taking state-mate Shreyas Gopal for 19 runs. He then tore into Pragyan Ojha in the 13th over, hitting him for 16 runs.

195
The highest ever 14.4-over score in all T20s 

Scorecard
Rajasthan Royals

S Watson c Pollard
b Harbhajan. . . . . . . . . . . . .8
S Samson c Harbhajan
b Gopal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
K Nair c Simmons
b Bumrah . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
B Hodge not out . . . . . . . . 29
J Faulkner c Anderson
b Pollard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
K Cooper not out . . . . . . . . 0
Extras (LB-2, WD-3) . . . . . . 5
Total (For 4 wickets in 20 overs) . . . .  189
Fow: 1-34, 2-134, 3-136, 4-185
Bowling
C Anderson . . . . . . . 2-0-14-0
J Bumrah . . . . . . . . . 4-1-30-1
P Ojha . . . . . . . . . . 4-0-31-0
H Singh . . . . . . . . . 4-0-43-1
S Gopal . . . . . . . . . . 3-0-36-1
K Pollard . . . . . . . . . 3-0-33-1

Mumbai Indians
L Simmons c Faulkner b Kulkarni 12
M Hussey b Cooper . . . . . 22
C Anderson not out 95
K Pollard c Hodge b Cooper 7
R Sharma c Nair b Kulkarni 16
A Rayudu run out 30
A Tare not out 6
Extras (lb 3, w 4) 7
Total (5 wkts; 14.4 overs) 195
Fow: 1-19, 2-53, 3-61, 4-108, 5-189
Bowling
J Faulkner . . . . . . . . 2-0-21-0
D Kulkarni . . . . . . . . 2-0-26-1
S Watson . . . . . . . . . 1-0-15-0
K Cooper . . . . . . . . . 2-0-10-2
P Tambe . . . . . . . . . 1-0-14-0

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