T20 2018: K Gowtham's quickfire 33 hands Mumbai another loss

Apr 23, 2018, 08:08 IST | Santosh Suri

Young Rajasthan batsman scores unbeaten 11-ball 33 to take hosts across the line and hand title holders Mumbai yet another last-over defeat in T20 2018

Rajasthan's K Gowtham celebrates after hitting the winning runs against Mumbai at Jaipur yesterday. Pic/PTI
Rajasthan's K Gowtham celebrates after hitting the winning runs against Mumbai at Jaipur yesterday. Pic/PTI

Rajasthan registered a much-needed win, chasing a not-too-formidable total. Opting to bat, Mumbai had managed 167 for seven, riding on half-centuries by Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. But the home batsmen, especially Krishnappa Gowtham played a great innings to help his team win the contest by three wickets with two balls to spare after fifty by Sanju Samson and a cameo by Ben Stokes.

Rajasthan fight back
For the home team, it was a great comeback after two successive setbacks. Royals now have a week to recuperate and begin their campaign afresh. The fourth loss in Game Five for Mumbai has brought forth some issues. Suryakumar Yadav may be making the most of his new role as an opener in place of his Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma. After notching up a half-century against Delhi, Suryakumar got his highest score in T20 2018, a 47-ball 72 that helped his team post a challenging total on a pitch of low bounce. But then, Rohit is surely wasting himself coMumbaing down the order.

Of course, he made a match-winning 94 at No 4 against Bangalore, but he was at the wicket on the third ball into the innings after Umesh Yadav picked up wickets with his first two balls. So virtually, it was as an opener that Rohit got that brilliant knock. Against Rajasthan, he dropped down to No. 5, coMumbaing in at the 16th over and was run out for a golden duck, to a superb throw by his counterpart Ajinkya Rahane. After his departure, the innings lost much momentum and Mumbai barely managed to reach 167 when at one time it looked they would close in on 190.

The defending champs in fact managed just 37 runs in the last six overs, losing six wickets. Much of the damage was done by young Barbados pace bowler Jofra Archer, who made a super debut for Rajasthan. Having excelled for Hobart HuRajasthanicanes in the Aussie T20 Big Bash, his initiation in the T20 2018 was delayed due to an injury he picked up when playing for Quetta in the Pakistan T20 league. He showed excellent variation to keep the batsmen guessing, picking up three wickets for 23 runs.

Mumbai's struggles
After Evin Lewis was sent packing for a duck by Dhawal Kulkarni, it was Yadav and back-from-injury Ishan Kishan who put the Mumbai innings on the track with a century partnership. They were going great guns, until Kulkarni got Kishan for 58 and soon Jaydev Undakat accounted for Suryakumar. But Rohit's run out and three wickets in one over by Archer pulled things back for the Royals.

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