Tendulkar, Smith power MI to 10-wicket win
Harbhajan Singh’s side will now travel to Bangalore to play Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs Eliminator on Wednesday.
In pursuit of 163, Sachin Tendulkar (58 not out) and Dwayne Smith (87 not out) posted the highest opening stand in IPL history of 163 runs, to knock off the target with two overs to spare.
Smith struck 10 fours and three sixes while Tendulkar struck ten fours. Earlier, Shane Watson top-scored with a 36-ball 45 as Rajasthan posted a challenging 162 for six. Watson hit four boundaries and two sixes before Owais Shah (28 not out) and Ashok Menaria (21) provided the late flourish at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Put into bat, Rajasthan lost their openers early to be placed at 31 for two in the sixth over.
Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, playing his first IPL-V game, accounted for both openers — he had Rahul Dravid caught behind by Dinesh Karthik and then removed the in-form Ajinkya Rahane, who mistimed a pulled shot. Watson along with Stuart Binny added 53 runs for the third wicket to stabilise Royals’ innings.
Even Lasith Malinga got a bit of stick initially as Watson slammed two fours against the Sri Lankan. A moment of indiscretion cost Binny his wicket as Kieron Pollard ran him out to cut short his innings at 30 off 17 balls. While going for one too many, Watson ended up holing out to deep midwicket off Pollard. Kulkarni returned to claim the wicket of Menaria in the penultimate over.
Rajasthan Royals: 162 for six in 20 overs (Shane Watson 45, Stuart Binny 30; Dhawal Kulkarni 3-18).
Mumbai Indians: 163 for no loss in 18 overs (Dwayne Smith 87 not out, Sachin Tendulkar 58 not out)