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IPL 2018, MI vs RR: Jofra Archer's back-to-back wickets are SK Turning Point of the match

RR have a real chance of making the top four now.

FEATURED WRITER
Feature 14 May 2018, 11:25 IST
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The West Indian has been excellent with the ball for the Royals
The West Indian has been excellent for the Royals with the ball

The Rajasthan Royals pulled off a clinical 7-wicket victory against the Mumbai Indians in at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (May 13). It was imperative for both the teams to win this game to have a substantial chance of making it to the playoffs this year. Rajasthan are now fifth in the points table, tied with Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders for 12 points, whereas Mumbai are sixth with 10 points to their name.

Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and decided to bowl first at Wankhede, on a pitch that was characteristically batting-oriented. The hosts started off in a strong fashion, with both their openers, Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis, coming into the party and tormenting the RR bowling attack. They took the team's total to 86-0 within the first ten overs of the game, with Mumbai looking set to reach at least 180 runs after the end of the first innings.

The ball was then given to Jofra Archer, who had wrecked havoc against the same opposition in a few weeks ago. The West Indian stepped up once again, clinching two vital wickets in his very first over.

He dismissed Yadav and Rohit Sharma off the fourth and fifth deliveries of the 11th over, suddenly putting MI in a spot of bother and bringing his side to a position of ascendancy in the game. Hence, this brace from Jofra clearly was the SK Turning Point of the match. It not only helped RR back restrict Mumbai to a below-par total of 168, but also forced their captain, Rohit Sharma, to walk back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers.

It was all too straightforward for the Royals after that. Jos Buttler, with his fifth half-century in five games, remained unbeaten at 94 to see his team through to their third consecutive victory. Rahane provided him with decent support with the bat, so as to build an important partnership at the top of the order after the early dismissal of D'Arcy Short. Sanju Samson came in after his skipper's dismissal and played a fiery knock of 26 off just 14 deliveries, breaking the spine of the chase with his elegant yet effective strokeplay.

However, it was Archer's spell of 2 for 16 in four overs is what called a halt to the home side reaching an unassailable total on the day and gave RR the confidence to bring in two points from the encounter.

Talking about the importance of his wickets in the context of the game, Rahane said, "Great win for all of us. 168-169 on this wicket was 10-15 runs short. Jofra's couple of wickets in that over changed the game actually. We didn't get a partnership in the earlier games but we knew that if we get one early on, it'll be easy to chase."


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