Ben Stokes scored a magnificent ton while Sanju Samson scored an attractive half-century as Rajasthan Royals (RR) beat Mumbai Indians (MI) by eight wickets in Match 45 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
After MI posted 195 on the board on the back of Hardik Pandya’s 21-ball 60*-run blitz, which included 7 sixes and 2 fours, RR needed something special to pull off a win and Stokes and Samson did just that.
While MI, defending 195, picked two quick wickets in the powerplay as James Pattinson dismissed Robin Uthappa and Steve Smith.
Samson and Stokes joined forces in the fifth over of the RR chase. The two made sure their side always remained in the hunt as the pair took RR to 99/2 at the halfway stage of their innings. Stokes, meanwhile, brought up his first fifty-plus score of this season in the same over.
While MI bowled a couple of tight overs, Stokes and Samson scored 50 runs from three overs. The pair scored 19 from the 13th over bowled by Pattinson, with Samson hitting a six and a four and Stokes, hitting a four to move past 60.
Samson and Stokes continued their merry ways and targeted Rahul Chahar in the next over. While both the batsmen tonked a six each, Samson also creamed a four as RR moved to 144/2 after 14 overs.
The right-hander brought up his third half-century in the 15th over, hitting Jasprit Bumrah for two successive fours.
The 16th over saw RR score 15 runs off Boult to move past 170. In the next over, Stokes got a four off a top edge as he moved closer to a ton. While MI conceded just 4 runs in the 18th over, Stokes closed out the game, hitting a six and a four on the first balls of the penultimate over and in that process, completed a stunning hundred.
While RR retained the same team, MI, who elected to bat, made one change to their playing XI as James Pattinson replaced Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Although it seemed Quinton de Kock had taken off from he had left in the last game as he pulled Jofra Archer for a six, the left-hander got out on the next delivery after dragging one back onto the stumps in the first over.
But Ishan Kishan, who had scored a quickfire 68* off 37 balls in the last game against Chennai Super Kings, and Suryakumar Yadav counterattacked and completed a fifty-run stand to take MI to 59/1 at the end of the powerplay.
While Kishan was hit on the pad and the physio had to be called in, he did not let that affect his run-scoring.
At the halfway stage, MI were 89/1, with Kishan and Surya batting on 37 and 38 respectively.
RR, then pulled back the things as Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal joined forces to scalp three wickets in the space of next three overs.
In the 11th over, Tyagi picked Kishan’s wicket after Archer took a one-handed screamer at third man. Shreyas Gopal struck twice in the 13th over. First, he had Surya caught at long-off for 40 and then, four balls later, did Pollard in with a wrong’un.
Having lost three wickets for 15 runs, MI were looking for a solid partnership and Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya delivered.
The two added 62 runs together in 31 balls, a partnership which included an over where Pandya hammered four sixes off Ankit Rajpoot in the 18th over.
While the partnership was broken on the first ball of the 19th over, Pandya went on to score a stroke-filled fifty, his first of the season, after slamming three sixes and 2 fours in the final over to take MI to 195/5.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 196/2 (Ben Stokes 107*, Sanju Samson 54*; James Pattinson 2/40) beat Mumbai Indians 195/5 (Hardik Pandya 60*, Suryakumar Yadav 40; Shreyas Gopal 2/30) by eight wickets