An intriguing game of cricket was experienced at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, as Mumbai Indians hosted Rajasthan Royals on Monday, April 01. Led by Hardik Pandya, MI were invited to bat first, and RR’s decision to bowl first proved to be on point.

From the very first over, the visiting bowlers breathed fire, sending back the likes of Rohit Sharma and Naman Dhir to the pavilion. In the third over, Impact Substitute Dewald Brevis also made the long walk back. Thereafter, skipper Hardik took the onus upon himself to sail the sinking ship, and contributed 34 off 21 to build some momentum.

Also Read: MI vs RR: Wankhede crowd boos Hardik Pandya, Sanjay Manjrekar asks public to behave

No other batter looked comfortable at the crease, as MI eventually ended up putting 125/9 on the board at the end of 20 overs. In response, RR saw early trouble, but the partnership between Ravichandran Ashwin and Riyan Parag took Rajasthan closer to victory. Eventually, the visiting side won comfortably by six wickets and 27 balls remaining.

Talking Points

1. Trent Boult wreaks havoc at Wankhede

In the very first over, Kiwi pacer Trent Boult got the better of Rohit Sharma and Naman Dhir. In his second, he sent back Dewald Brevis, forcing a football-like scorecard in a cricket match at the Wankhede. Boult ended his fantastic spell with three wickets, leaking just 22 runs in his four overs. As a result, Mumbai never really recovered from the shocks given by the left-armer. The pacer was awarded Player of the Match for his unbelievable bowling display.

2. Riyan Parag overtakes Kohli in Orange Cap race

The Assamese all-rounder Riyan Parag continued his great form with another impressive knock against a formidable Mumbai bowling unit. Facing the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Akash Madhwal, and Gerald Coetzee alongside spin veteran Piyush Chawla, Parag unleashed an impressive performance to see RR through. His 39-ball-54* saw him overtake Virat Kohli in the Orange Cap race. Both have 181 runs so far, but Parag holds a better strike-rate.

Who Said What?

Winning skipper Sanju Samson said:

“[The toss] I think that was the gamechanger. The toss was very crucial. I felt it was too sticky to start off and we had the experience of Trent Boult and Nandre Burger’s speed. [Boult] has been playing international cricket for so long and we expected him to deliver. I didn’t expect four or five wickets down, but it was great. We all do our roles and move on. Someone like R Ashwin knew we had a good powerplay so he didn’t go for wickets, just kept it tight. So it’s about teamwork.”

Losing skipper Hardik Pandya said:

“We didn’t start the way we wanted to, tough night tonight. [On his innings] I think we were in a decent position to give us a chance to get to 150 or 160 but I think my wicket changed the game and brought them more in the game and I think I could have done better. [The pitch] It’s good to have something for the bowlers as well. The game is quite cruel to the bowlers. But it was unexpected. It’s all about doing the right things. Results, sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think much surprises me anymore. But as a group we believe we can pull off a lot of better things going forward and we just need to be more disciplined and show more courage.”

Also Read: IPL 2024 Player of the Match list for Each Game | POTM for Each Game in IPL 2024

Player of the Match Trent Boult said: 

“[First over wickets] Never say it’s a certainty in the format, but it was nice to get the wickets. We created early pressure, nice to take some wickets and glad the result went our way. [On the Rohit wicket] I’ve played against Rohit a lot over the years and it was just about trying to do something different. It rarely comes off, you try something different and it works, but great when it does. [On Burger] He has been a great find. Bowls with great skill and plays with his heart on his sleeves. Sandeep obviously missed out but he’ll play a big role in the season. Excited to be part of this bowling attack.”

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