Sachin and Smith crush Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals had never lost a match in which they scored 160 or more while batting first. The Mumbai Indians shattered that record by registering a thumping 10-wicket win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. MI successfully chased the 163-run target with two overs to spare and 10 wickets in hand
In what came across as their attempt to use the most number of opening pairs in a single tournament, the Mumbai Indians came up with yet another opening combination – Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith. The two ended up with the best opening partnership of IPL 2012 as they piled on 163 runs. The Tendulkar-Smith duo lived an extremely charmed in the middle. They kept playing wrong shots in the air and the ball kept falling short of the fielders. To double up the frustration of RR bowlers, the fielders leaked some runs on the ground as well.
When Sidharth Trivedi finally got Smith caught in the deep, it turned out to be a no-ball. Tendulkar smacked the next delivery, a free-hit, for a six to bring up MI’s 100. As the two batsmen rode their luck to the fullest, the hosts could do very little apart from grinning and bearing it.
After playing some chancy shots in the beginning, both batsmen settled down nicely and began to hit the ball well. Tendulkar scored 58* off 51 balls with the help of six fours, while Smith finished with 87* off 54 deliveries. He hit 10 fours and three sixes. MI got home with 12 balls to spare and all 10 wickets in hand.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid had called it right at the toss and elected to bat first. MI’s Dhawal Kulkarni was playing his first game of IPL 2012 and he accounted for the most successful opening pair of the season. In his first over, he dismissed Rahul Dravid (5) with a short and side delivery was edged to the ‘keeper. In his third over, he got rid of the in-form Ajinkya Rahane (13) with another short ball.