Yashasvi Jaiswal slams ton, Sandeep Sharma snaps up 5 as Rajasthan Royals brush aside Mumbai Indians | Crickit
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Yashasvi Jaiswal slams ton, Sandeep Sharma snaps up 5 as Rajasthan Royals brush aside Mumbai Indians

ByRutvick Mehta, Mumbai
Apr 23, 2024 12:13 AM IST

RR’s impressive run in IPL 2024 continues as the young opener’s 60-ball 104* steers team to a nine-wicket win in Jaipur.

In a league of big-hitting heroes and record-breaking totals, it often takes the sheer brilliance of a Jasprit Bumrah or the raw pace of a Mayank Yadav for bowlers to steal the limelight. An unassuming medium pacer like Sandeep Sharma thus invariably flies under the radar. Except on days when his skills, swinging at the top and stinging at the death, masterfully clips the wings of the opposition.

Rajasthan Royals bowler Sandeep Sharma celebrates his 5 wicket-haul(PTI)
Rajasthan Royals bowler Sandeep Sharma celebrates his 5 wicket-haul(PTI)

Like against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Monday, when the comeback man’s — he was out injured for almost a month — figures of 5/18 were split neatly between his two wickets with the new

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ball and three in the last over. It offset the 99-run stand of Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera, restricted MI to a below-par 179/9 and earned Rajasthan Royals (RR) a nine-wicket win after Yashasvi Jaiswal’s brilliant unbeaten 60-ball 104 backed up the bowling effort.

Chasing 180 on the true Jaipur deck was well within the strong RR batting unit’s grasp, especially after Jaiswal, quiet with the bat thus far this season, finally roared. With MI

match-winner Bumrah going wicketless and Jaiswal and Jos Buttler (35, 25b) taking on Hardik Pandya, Gerald Coetzee and Nuwan Thushara — he leaked four fours in the sixth over — in the 61-run powerplay, the visitors had little room left to make inroads.

A rain interruption did disrupt Buttler’s flow but not Jaiswal’s, who put his feet to work in depositing the spinners even as Coetzee and Bumrah got a piece of his seven sixes. MI didn’t help themselves by dropping catches, giving Jaiswal and Sanju Samson (38*, 28b) a life each as they put the chase to bed.

The start of this reverse fixture played out almost in repeat mode to the first. In Mumbai, Trent Boult found the outside edge of Rohit Sharma while in Jaipur Rohit went for a heave across the line off a full delivery only for it to land in the gloves of Samson. Boult had his man again in his first over.

So did Sandeep at the other end, getting Ishan Kishan fishing outside off for a duck. If that ball moved a touch, the one with the scrambled seam got Suryakumar Yadav holing out

at long-on. Three down for next to nothing twice against RR, Mohammad Nabi gave the MI innings the powerplay lift it craved in an 18-run Avesh Khan over. Yuzvendra Chahal slowed it down by getting Nabi caught and bowled for his 200th IPL wicket, the first to do so in a league made for batters.

Stuttering at 56/4, southpaws Varma and Wadhera shone. While Wadhera took time to get going, Varma stepped up, dancing down, pulling and cutting RR spin twins Chahal and R Ashwin for boundaries. Wadhera too soon stepped in, his one-handed six off Avesh setting him free.

By the time Boult got Wadhera (49, 24b) in the 17th over, the poor start made way for a promising finish from 151/5. MI though managed just 28 in the last four overs, courtesy excellent death bowling by Sandeep — he got Varma (65, 45b), Coetzee and Tim David in the 20th over — and Avesh, and a rather strange run-a-ball 10 from Pandya.

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