Mumbai, May 2: A disciplined bowling performance by Mitchell McClenaghan and a late cameo from Ambati Rayudu helped Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by eight runs in an IPL cricket match here today.
Batting first, MI scored a competitive 187 for five against Rajasthan Royals. In reply to Mumbai's 187, Rajsthan Royals scored 179 for seven in 20 overs with Sanju Samson hitting 76 off 46 balls.
Mitchell McClenaghan grabbed two crucial wickets in as many balls as Mumbai Indians pulled off an exciting eight-run victory over Rajasthan Royals.
Chasing a stiff target of 188 set by Mumbai Indians, wicketkeeper Sanju Samson cracked a brilliant 76 in 46 balls to bring the Royals close to the target before New Zealander Mitchell McClenaghan dismissed him as well as Karun Nair at off successive balls to bring the home side back in the game when it seemed like it was drifting away from them.
Lasith Malinga grabbed the wicket of Deepak Hooda in the next over to leave Royals the task of scoring 20 runs in the last over and they finally fell short by eight runs by scoring 179 for 7.
McClenaghan snapped up 3 for 31 while Malinga, Vinay Kumar who bowled the last over and Jagadeesha Suchith got one wicket each while Tim Southee was run out.
Royals looked all set for their eighth win in ten games when Samson played a whirlwind knock laced with 3 sixes and six fours, but his dismissal through a catch at long off stymied the Royals' run-chase.
It was MI's third win in eight games and kept their play-off hopes alive. Earlier, put in to bat MI's Rayudu struck a breezy half century to help Mumbai Indians overcome a sluggish middle phase after a good start to end up with a combative total.
A late cameo from Ambati Rayudu (53; 27b, 4x4 3x6) ensured that Mumbai Indians reached a challenging 187/5 against Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.
Put in to bat, Mumbai Indian got off to a flying start with openers Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons striking the ball to all parts of the park scoring at over nine runs per over in the first four.
However, looking to quicken the scoring rate, Parthiv (23 off 14 balls) failed to judge the slower ball, and was caught and bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni in the fifth over. After getting hit for 13 runs in his first over, the local boy came sharp in his second to put the brakes on Mumbai.
But Parthiv's departure didn't put the brakes on the Mumbai scoring as Simmons kept timing the ball well to keep the runs coming.
As the West Indian was looking to take the bowlers from both ends, spinner Ankit Sharma got him leg before in the ninth over, bringing his small but quick-fire innings to an end. Enroute his 31 ball 38, Simmons struck four boundaries and one six.
Unmukt Chand (13 off 14 balls) -- who came at the fall of Parthiv -- also gave away his wicket in the 11th over by hitting a loose shot to mid on for Stuart Binny to take an easy catch off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu gave most of the strike to skipper Rohit Sharma who was looking comfortable in the middle for a perfect captain's knock.
But his innings came to an end when he was caught by Ankit Sharma off the bowling of Kulkarni, who picked up his second wicket.
Rohit, who scored 27 off 21 balls, completed 2,000 runs for Mumbai Indians. The only other batsman to do that is Sachin Tendulkar who has scored 2,334 runs.
For Royals, Kulkarni was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with two for 26.
(With inputs from agencies)