IPL 2020, RR vs MI: Stokes for stroke, Rajasthan Royals sweep aside Mumbai Indians
IPL 2020, RR vs MI: Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson raised 152 runs for the unbroken third wicket, guiding Rajasthan Royals to an eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare.Updated: Oct 25, 2020, 23:40 IST
Required run rates often spur batsmen to try the unusual. Not Ben Stokes though. Set 196 to win, Stokes produced clean but powerful hitting that caught Mumbai Indians by surprise, raising a memorable century and guiding Rajasthan Royals to an eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. With the swashbuckling Sanju Samson also hitting a fifty, the duo raised 152 runs for the unbroken third wicket in what turned out to be one of the most one-sided chases.
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The resolve to not let the required run rate get out of reach was clear when Royals reached 99 at the 10-over mark. And till the 22nd ball of his innings, Stokes’s strike rate was 200. What clinched the match in their favour was the onslaught inflicted between the 13th and 16th overs, yielding the Royals 65 runs and bringing down the equation to run-a-ball.
There was an early wobble though. Robin Uthappa was dismissed in the second over. Steve Smith looked in his elements, rocking back to cart Jasprit Bumrah over square-leg for six. But James Pattinson got the ball to move in from good length next over, inducing Smith to drive though he only got an inside edge that crashed onto the stumps.
With Samson walking in, Stokes didn’t need to hold back. He kicked off with a boundary past short third man off a reverse sweep as scoring slowly picked up pace once Samson settled down at the other end. Stokes hit through the line on most occasions but what hurt Mumbai more were the reverse sweeps, slog sweeps and ramp shots.
Once the equation was brought under control, it was a matter of a few deliveries as Stokes completed a deserving hundred, leaving Mumbai Indians in a daze. No bowler was spared. The usually disciplined Trent Boult leaked 40 runs, Pattinson averaged 12 and even Jasprit Bumrah finished with an economy of 9.5 runs per over.
The bowling never lived up to the quality of batting Mumbai Indians produced at the rear of their innings.
There was no Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock couldn’t survive the first over and Kieron Pollard lasted four balls. They slipped from 90/1 to 101/4 in the space of 11 deliveries but still managed 195/5 in 20 overs. On Sunday, at 138/4 after 17 overs, they looked primed to add at least 40 more runs. Thanks to Hardik Pandya’s hurricane 21-ball 60 not out though, they ended up adding 57 off the last 18 deliveries, including three off Jofra Archer’s 19th over. Stokes, however, upended all hopes of a comfortable win.