|MoM Vikramjeet Malik celebrates after claiming one of his three wickets, in Jaipur, on Saturday
Jaipur: Rahul Dravid’s Rajasthan Royals remained unconquered at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium for the ninth consecutive time when they tamed Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the Champions League T20 tournament here on Saturday.
A near capacity crowd turned out on Saturday night to watch a contest between the two living legends of Indian cricket — Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Though neither of the two senior batsmen obliged, the victory of the home side was enough to make the crowd happy.
Chasing a Mumbai score of 142 for seven, the home side lost Dravid (1) as early as in the second over, but cruised through thanks to some fine batting by Sanju Samson (54), opener Ajinkya Rahane (33) and Australian star Shane Watson (27).
All three batted with confidence to bring up the victory with two balls to spare. Samson and Rahane put up 74 runs for the second wicket.
The only time Mumbai could hope for a comeback was when Samson was sent back by Keiron Pollard in the 16th over. With 35 runs needed from 27 balls, Mumbai pressed hard but Watson and Stuart Binny (27) displayed poise to see their team through.
With one run needed from three balls, Binny lofted Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile for a six to finish off the match.
Mumbai’s problem was that their batting never really took off. Dravid won the toss and was quick to ask Mumbai to bat first. While the heavy overcast conditions made batting difficult, the visitors were also guilty of not applying themselves at times.
But for skipper Rohit Sharma (44) and Pollard (42), things could have been worse for Mumbai Indians. Having lost four wickets for 43 runs in 8.1 overs, the Mumbai innings looked like it was going nowhere. Rohit and Pollard steadied the innings with a 52-run fifth-wicket partnership. Both went for some big shots and posted a challenging total.
A lot was expected from Tendulkar, who opened the innings. In the third over, he hit James Faulkner for two fours. The one off the front foot over point was a truly top class shot. He hit another off Watson that had the fielder at gully stranded. But he was dismissed caught behind in the eighth over when Binny was introduced from the far end.
Among the Royals bowlers, pacer Vikramjeet Malik was the most successful.