Rajasthan Royals picked up their fourth successive win against MI to stay alive in the competition while Delhi Capitals kept their nerve to clinch the second spot in the points table.
Match 1: Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians
Rajasthan Royals geared up with a major change for this fixture by removing Ajinkya Rahane as the skipper of the team. Former captain Steve Smith took over the reins and elected to bowl first. Rohit Sharma named a solitary change with Jayant Yadav making way for Mayank Markande.
The MI skipper’s inconsistent tournament continued with yet another early departure while Quinton de Kock carried his fine run through a strokeful fifty.
Mumbai Indians, however, failed to capitalise on the start and succumbed to a total of 161. Despite the absence of marquee batsman Jos Buttler, makeshift opener Sanju Samson made amends. The right-handed batsman made a crucial cameo up the order to ease the nerves after Rahane’s dismissal.
Steve Smith played a captain’s knock and was well supported by newbie Riyan Parag. Smith stayed unbeaten on 59 to steer RR across the line.
MI 161-5 (20 overs) ( Q.de Kock 69; S.Gopal 2-21)
RR 162-5 (19.1 overs) (S.Smith 58; R.Chahar 3-29)
Match 2: Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab
Delhi Capitals finally managed a victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla and capitalised on Mumbai Indians’ defeat earlier to grab the second place.
Kings XI Punjab had a stellar start despite losing KL Rahul early. Chris Gayle brought up yet another half-century but did not find enough support from the non-strikers’ end.
After Gayle’s dismissal, the side struggled to put runs on the board and set the hosts a target of 164.
The chase began on a sour note for the hosts as Prithvi Shaw was dismissed yet again in the powerplay. Shreyas Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan negotiated the spinners well to head towards a win.
Dhawan’s dismissal brought upon a cascade of wickets with Shreyas Iyer being stranded at one end. The visitors failed to reinstall a miracle as Iyer led the team to a 5 wicket victory with 3 balls to spare.