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IPL PHOTOS: Captain Smith leads Rajasthan to victory

Last updated on: April 20, 2019 20:32 IST

Images from the Indian Premier League match between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in Jaipur on Saturday.

Steve Smith

IMAGE: Steve Smith, who replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the captain, guided Royals to victory with an unbeaten half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Steve Smith celebrated his return at the helm with a captain's innings that powered Rajasthan Royals to a five-wicket victory over a formidable Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League encounter, in Jaipur, on Saturday.

 

Chasing a target of 162, Royals won the game with five balls to spare as the former Australia captain anchored the innings with an unbeaten 59 off 48 balls.

India Under-19 World Cupper Riyan Parag (43 off 29 balls) also showed good temperament as he matched his skipper stroke for stroke during their 70 runs stand in 9.4 overs that paved the way for a comfortable victory.

Smith, who replaced Ajinkya Rahane after the India vice-captain's disastrous run, hit five boundaries and a six while Assam lad Riyan also had identical number of hits to the fence.

Riyan Parag

IMAGE: Riyan Parag hits out. Photograph: BCCI

This is Rajasthan's third win in nine games as they are now placed seventh in the league table above bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore even though a play-off qualification looks a long shot as of now.

Rajasthan Royals, who were in a must-win situation, raced to 39 in 3.3 overs but Rahane (12 off 12 balls) departed as Suryakumar Yadav took a diving catch at covers off leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/29.

Credit should also be given to Sanju Samson for his whirlwind 35 off 19 balls that set the pace and enabled Smith to anchor the innings in the manner only he can.

Riyan's composure also helped even though Chahar and the seasoned Jasprit Bumrah (1/21 in 4 overs) bowled well at the back end but the home team showed enough firepower.

Jofra Archer

IMAGE: Jofra Archer drops Hardik Pandya's catch. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Quinton de Kock continued his impressive run with another solid half-century as Mumbai Indians put up a decent 161 for 5 in their 20 overs.

De Kock smashed 65 off 47 balls with six fours and two sixes, adding 97 runs off 68 balls for the second wicket with Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 33 balls) that helped MI total gain a semblance of respectability.

Steve Smith, who replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the Royals skipper, move to introduce Shreyas Gopal early paid off. He deceived rival skipper Rohit Sharma( 5), who stepped out only to offer a return catch after failing to read a googly, in the third over of the innings.

Quinton de Kock

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock top scored with a quickfire 65 for Mumbai Indians. Photograph: BCCI

Gopal could have got rid of de Kock off the last ball of the over but Jofra Archer dropped a difficult chance at long-on, who dropped as many as three catches.

Making most out of this reprieve de Kock helped his team reach 50-run mark in 6.5 overs.

Shreyas Gopal

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals' players celebrate after Shreyas Gopal dismissed Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

He reached his own half-century off just 34 balls and his partnership with Suryakumar was broken when the latter was caught in deep off Stuart Binny in the 14th over.

A few balls later Quinton de Kock too perished, caught at long-on as Hardik Pandya and Pollard joined forces with scorboard reading 112 for three in 15 overs.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith, right, at the toss with Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

Pollard and Hardik were both dropped by Archer, resulting in Royals ending up leaking a few quick runs at the end.

Hardik made most off the line as he smashed 23 off 15 balls before he was trapped leg before wicket by Archer, while Pollard (10) was bowled by Jaydev Unadkat.

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