Millennium Post

Smith guides Royals to facile win over MI

Smith guides Royals to facile win over MI
Chasing 164 for victory, Royals romped home in 49.1 overs with Smith (79*) and James Faulkner (6*) at the crease .

Earlier, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson struck fighting half-centuries as Mumbai Indians recovered from a sluggish start to post a respectable 164 for 5. The decision to bat seemed to have backfired as Mumbai managed only 45 runs in the first 10 overs but the fiery 104-run stand between Pollard and Anderson in just 9.1 overs, changed the team’s fortunes. Pollard’s 70 came off just 34 balls as he punished the Royals bowlers with seven fours and five sixes while Anderson supported the Caribbean with a 38-ball 50.

The Royals bowlers, who had straight-jacketed the Mumbai batsmen for the major part of the innings, were clueless against the Caribbean stroke-maker and Anderson, who got life on 23 after being caught off a no ball. Steven Smith used four different bowlers in the Power-play overs after being asked to bowl and the ploy worked as Mumbai could manage 31 runs in six overs.

Not only this, Mumbai opener Aaron Finch pulled a hamstring while attempting a single in the fourth over, bowled by Stuart Binny. Helped by teammates, Finch (10) limped back to the dugout, unable to keep his left leg on the ground.

Unmukt Chand joined Parthiv Patel at the crease but the left-hander offered a simple catch to Chris Morris off Dhawal Kulkarni to be dismissed for 16. Kiwi paceman Tim Southee was very effective with his outswingers while Kulkarni also kept a very tight line. Binny too bowled a probing line and was rewarded soon as he scalped rival captain Rohit Sharma (0), who edged one to slips. Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe was introduced and he struck immediately, castling Chand (12).

Such was the discipline and domination of the Royals’ bowlers that Mumbai scored only 45 runs in 10 overs, managing only six shots to the fence.

Pollard broke the shackles by dispatching a Chris Morris delivery to boundary ropes and then Anderson lofted the same bowler two balls later for another four. The Caribbean smashed James Faulkner for a six over mid-wicket. Anderson was caught off a no ball from Kulkarni and he made the Royals pay for that mistake immediately, hitting Southee for a massive six and followed it up with a four. The duo creamed off 17 runs from the 17th over by Faulkner.


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