IPL 2024: Trent’s thunderbolts, Parag’s 54* help Royals thrash MI by six wickets

Mumbai : Players of Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians at the end of the IPL match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, April 1, 2024. (Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) Pacer Trent Boult struck like lightening for a three-fer, Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web to bag 3-11 while Riyan Parag struck his second successive half-century as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Mumbai Indians by six wickets with 27 balls to spare in Match 14 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.

The Boult from New Zealand used the conditions perfectly, moved the ball on both sides and claimed Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir and Dewald Brevis for first-ball ducks as he reduced Mumbai Indians to 14/3 in the third over after Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to field first. The 34-year-old Boult claimed 3-15 in his three overs before ending his quota with 3-22.

Yuzvendra Chahal then became Mumbai Indians’ tormentor, wiping out the middle-order in claiming 3-11 in four brilliant overs as Mumbai Indians were restricted to 125/9 in 20 overs, their second-lowest total against Rajasthan Royals. They scored 92 against them in 2013.

Chasing 126 for victory, Rajasthan Royals were in trouble at 48/3 before Riyan Parag came to their rescue, adding 40 runs off 35 balls with Ravichandran Ashwin and then unleashing a flurry of shots towards the end to claim a comfortable victory. With Parag, who struck five fours and three sixes, remaining unbeaten on 54, Rajasthan Royals reached 127/4 in 15.3 overs to seal a comfortable victory with a lot to spare.

In a match dominated by the bowlers, Parag struck the lone fifty, his composed knock coming off 38 balls as he ended the match with a flurry of shots, a six off Piyush Chawla followed by two sixes and a four off Gerald Coetzee to seal the third victory for Rajasthan Royals, taking them to the top of the IPL table with six points. Mumbai Indians remain stuck at the bottom, yet to open their account after suffering three successive defeats.

Yashasvi Jaiswal struck the 17-year-old South African pacer Kwena Maphaka to back-to-back boundaries off the fourth and fifth deliveries of the opening over. But the young South African had his revenge on the next delivery, as a full-length delivery outside off shaped away and Jaiswal lobbed it straight to Tim David at cover. Maphaka claimed his first IPL wicket in his second match after going wicketless for 66 against SRH in Hyderabad. RR were 10/1.

Skipper Sanju Samson lashed a widish delivery from Maphaka through point for a boundary and then enjoyed the same result off the next delivery, as the bowler offered more width. But he was out soon, castled by Akash Madhwal as he chopped onto his stumps, attempting a cut without any foot movement.

And when Jos Buttler, who was troubled by Jasprit Bumrah despite being struck for a boundary, was out for 13, caught by Piyush Chawla as he pulled Akash Madhwal flat and straight to fine leg, Rajasthan Royals were in trouble at 48/3 in the 7th over.

However, Parag came to their rescue and ensured that they maintained their unbeaten streak.

Parag ramped Gerald Coetzee to the boundary and followed it up with another boundary off the next delivery. A boundary each off Coetzee and Bumrah helped him keep RR’s hopes alive. They reached 100/4 in the 14th over.

With 25 needed off 36 balls, Parag slogged Piyush Chawal over cow corner for his first six and in the next over carved Coetzee over cover for six and followed it up with a pull-over midwicket to complete his back-to-back fifties.

He sealed victory for Rajasthan Royals with a top-edge off a short one by Coetzee as the ball sailed over the keeper’s head to the boundary. Parag remained unbeaten on 54 as he helped Rajasthan Royals to their third victory in three matches.

Earlier, Boult rattled Mumbai Indians with some incisive pace bowling, claiming the first three wickets of Mumbai Indians.

With the home crowd repeatedly booing skipper Hardik Pandya, Mumbai Indians got off to a poor start and were struggling at 30/4 at the end of the first five overs on a pitch that was expected to support the batters. New Zealand pacer Trent Boult was the wrecker-in-chief as he claimed three of those four wickets.

Rohit Sharma was out for a first-ball duck as Boult landed a scrambled seam delivery at fullish length around off-stump, which opened up Rohit’s defence and took the outside edge behind to Sanju Samson. That was off the fifth ball of the opening over and Mumbai Indians were 1/1. This was the 17th duck for Rohit Sharma in 17 editions of the IPL and he now shares the dubious record with Dinesh Karthik.

It became 1/2 when Impact Substitute Naman Dhir was trapped lbw off the first delivery he faced off Boult. The ball landed on a length and moved in a little bit and sneaked through the gap between bat and pad. Dhir reviewed the decision but DRS came in favour of the bowler as Hawk-eye should the ball would have clipped the leg-stump.

Ishan Kishan survived the hat-trick ball and scored a single but Boult got his third wicket of the Power play and 100th overall as he sent back Dewald Brevis for a first-ball duck, holing out to short third-man with a loose shot. Boult had picked three wickets off four deliveries and was breathing fire. Brevis came in as the earliest Impact Substitute in the second over and went back as early as possible without bothering the scorer.

Ishan Kishan deposited the first delivery he faced from Nandre Burger over the long-on boundary for a big six and four balls later gloved a rising delivery into his body past keeper Samson for a four.

Burger had the last laugh in the fourth over and the South African pacer after Kishan had creamed him through cover to the boundary sent back Kishan with a delivery that seamed away off the deck and took the edge back to Samson. Ishan Kishan scored 16 off 14 balls, hitting two boundaries and one six. Mumbai Indians slumped to 20/4 in the fourth over and were in deep trouble.

Skipper Hardik Pandya, who was booed during the toss, along with Tilak Varma raised 56 runs for the fifth wicket as they tried to repair the innings.

Pandya, who started with three dot-balls off Burger, hammered the South African pacer over point in the sixth over and then walked into the delivery to thump it the cover-point boundary on the next delivery for back-to-back fours. He ended the over by dancing down the pitch and slamming it over mid-on for his third four of the sixth over. It was the most expensive over for RR thus far as it cost them 16 runs.

Hardik struck Avesh Khan for a boundary Ravichandran Ashwin. Chahal had his revenge as he had the Mumbai Indians skipper holing out to long-on. Chahal, who had nearly got Pandya on the previous delivery in the 10th over as the ball missed the off-stump by a whisker, sent down a flattish delivery around the middle and leg and Pandya tried to deposit him into the stands but got it off the bottom part of the bat and was out for 32 off 21 balls, hitting six boundaries in all.

Piyush Chawla was out to Avesh Khan for three and when Tilak Varma, who was holding one end up, was out for 32 off 29 balls, Mumbai Indians were down to 95/7 and in deep woods. Varma, who mostly scored through singles and twos, hammered Boult for a six in the fifth over as the pacer erred in line with a fullish delivery down the leg and Varma helped it over the boundary.

He also hooked Avesh Khan over the fence when the pacer tried to bounce him. But just when it looked like he would hog the strike and help Mumbai Indians to a big score with trademark blazing shots, Chahal had him reaching out to a wide googly and the batter ballooned an edge to Ashwin at short third-man.

Chahal, who bowled a brilliant line and length against a clueless Mumbai Indians middle-order, claimed Coetzee as his third victim as Mumbai Indians continued to falter and could post a paltry score.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 125/9 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 34, Tilak Varma 32; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-11, Tret Boult 3-22, Nandre Burger 2-32) lost to Rajasthan Royals 127/4 in 15.3 overs (Riyan Parag 54 not out; Akash Madhwal 3-20) by six wickets.

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