MI have had a middling campaign so far, winning only two of their five games to occupy the fourth position in the IPL points table 2021. RR have also registered two victories and three defeats from their five games but are languishing at number seven in the standings due to their inferior run rate.
In their last match, MI went down to Punjab Kings by nine wickets, as their batting unit came a cropper. In contrast, RR were able to register a much-needed triumph over KKR by six wickets. RR did well to restrict KKR before romping home in a comfortable chase.
There is absolutely nothing to choose in the head-to-head numbers between the two teams, with both sides registering 12 wins apiece against the other. Last season as well, MI and RR split their two meetings.
With MI and RR set to renew acquaintances today, let’s take a look at three of the most memorable batting performances in matches between the two teams over the years.
#3 Corey Anderson (MI) 95 not out off 44 - IPL 2014 (in Mumbai)
Former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson still holds the record for the second-fastest hundred in ODIs, which he registered against West Indies in January 2014. A few months later, he cracked a scintillating 95 not out off only 44 balls as MI aced a tall chase of 190 in only 14.4 overs.
Anderson’s knock featured nine fours and six sixes as RR bowlers could not create any sort of pressure, despite having a reasonable target to defend. Moreover, MI needed to reach their target in under 15 overs to qualify for the playoffs, so there was plenty at stake in the game.
Sent into bat at no. 3, Anderson attacked the RR bowlers from the get-go. He began by launching a four and a six off Shane Watson.
Anderson dished out harsh treatment to James Faulkner, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe and Kevon Cooper as well, finding the boundaries at will against all the bowlers. Thanks to Anderson’s spectacular hitting, MI reached their target in 14.4 overs to book their place in the playoffs.
Anderson’s savage knock meant most RR bowlers finished with forgettable figures on the day. Faulkner went for 54 in 3.4 overs; Kulkarni conceded 42 in three, while Tambe’s two overs cost him 25.
Earlier, batting first, RR put up 189 for 4 on the board, with Sanju Samson hitting 74 off 47, while Karun Nair blasted 50 off 27. The Anderson show eclipsed both efforts, though.
Check the updated IPL 2021 orange cap table here.
#2 Ben Stokes (RR) 107 not out off 60 balls - IPL 2020 (in Abu Dhabi)
Rajasthan Royals are desperately missing Ben Stokes at the top of the order this season. Jos Buttler hasn’t been at his best so far, while his opening partners, too, haven’t delivered.
Meanwhile, Stokes, who opened the RR innings last year, smashed an unbeaten 107 off only 60 balls as the 2008 champions chased down a 196-run target in 18.2 overs against MI in Abu Dhabi.
Stokes was in a belligerent mood, slamming 14 fours and three sixes in a high-quality knock. In the third over of RR's chase, the England all-rounder hammered Trent Boult for four fours, three of them off consecutive balls. The left-hander kept finding the boundaries against both pace and spin, racing to his fifty off only 28 deliveries.
Stokes brought up his hundred off 59 balls, slashing James Pattinson over midwicket for a maximum. Next ball, he lifted the bowler over extra cover for a boundary as RR completed a dominating win by eight wickets.
Sanju Samson provided good support to Stokes with an unbeaten 54 off 31 balls. The duo featured in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 152.
None of the MI bowlers could make an impact on Stokes on the day. Boult and Pattinson ended up conceding 40 in four and 3.2 overs, respectively, while Rahul Chahar was taken for 36 in his three.
Earlier, in the MI innings, Hardik Pandya blasted an unbeaten 60 off only 25 balls to take his team to a competitive total of 195 for 5. Stokes, though, ended up outshining Pandya with a magnificent counter-attacking knock.
#1 Yusuf Pathan (RR) 100 off 37 - IPL 2010 (in Mumbai)
At the peak of his IPL career, Yusuf Pathan played many blazing knocks. One of his best ones came when he plundered 100 off only 37 balls against MI in Mumbai during the competition's 2010 edition. It was a shame that the knock ended up on the losing side, but it was a spectacular effort nonetheless.
Set a mammoth 213 to win the game, RR rode on Yusuf Pathan’s brilliance to move within striking distance of a spectacular heist.
In the 11th over of the innings, Yusuf Pathan launched Ali Murtaza for three consecutive sixes. 26 runs came off the next over bowled by Rajagopal Sathish. with the RR batsman hammering two sixes and three fours.
Yusuf Pathan needed only 21 balls to bring up his fifty. He continued his assault on the hapless MI bowlers, picking three fours off Ryan McLaren and keeping RR’s hopes alive in an improbable chase.
When MI tried the left-arm spin of Sanath Jayasuriya, Yusuf Pathan helped himself to two more sixes - the second of which brought up a swashbuckling 100. He was run out immediately thereafter, though, as RR ended up losing by four runs.
Earlier, MI’s total of 212 for 6 was built around Saurabh Tiwary’s 33-ball 53 and Ambati Rayudu’s 55 off 33. Bowlers from both sides took a severe pasting, though. In the end, despite Yusuf Pathan's magnificent knock, MI survived the day and just about sneaked home in a close win.
Yusuf Pathan's blazing knock was good enough for him to win the Man of the Match award on the night, though.