Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan Royals’ top-order batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson played blistering knocks of 107 and 54 respectively on Sunday to guide their team to an eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the 45th match of the Indian Premier League 2020 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Opting to bat first, Mumbai Indians (MI) lost its opener Quinton de Kock in the first over of the innings. Ishan Kishan (37 off 36 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (40 off 26 balls) rebuilt for Mumbai, but a brilliant catch by Jofra Archer at the third man broke the partnership in the tenth over. The team struggled in the middle overs and it looked that they would be contented with 170, but a blistering knock of 60 off just 21 balls powered the team to 195, which then proved to be insufficient on such a pitch.
Chasing a massive total of 196 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Rajasthan Royals (RR) got off to a poor start, losing opener Robin Uthappa and skipper Steve Smith in the powerplay. Stokes held the fort for the team after early dismissals and was well assisted by Sanju Samson at the other end. Stokes scored 107 off 60 balls, hitting three sixes (his first three in IPL 2020) and 14 fours, while Samson contributed with 54 off 31 balls and cleared the boundary rope three times. With their 152 partnership, RR ended their innings on 196 for two wickets in 18.2 overs.
Despite the defeat, MI remain perched at the top position with 14 points from 11 matches while RR moved to the sixth place with 10 points from 12 games. This victory puts Rajasthan Royals back into the mix for the playoff spots and the tournament has become very interesting going into the final week of the league stage.