Aaron Moores | cricket20
The Mumbai Indians became the first team to qualify for the IPL semi finals after a comprehensive 37 run victory over the Rajasthan Royals who lost their first ever game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Having been put into bat by the Indians were quickly reduced to 30-3 after Shane Watson picked up three quick wickets but Sachin Tendulkar enjoyed an excellent innings scoring an important 89 runs to rescue the Indians and set the Royals a run chase of 175.
The Royals suffered a disastrous start to their run chase losing three wickets in the space of 7 balls reducing them to 11-3 after just three overs.
Michael Lumb (8) was the first to go, having survived two run outs in first over Lumb was caught by JP Duminy at backward point after hitting Dhawal Kulkarni for two boundaried at the start of the second over.
Naman Ojha (0) departed at the strat of the third over thanks to a great catch by Tendulkar in the slips before Shane Watson (1) was ran out by Ambati Rayudu leaving the Royals in complete disarray.
Faiz Fazal and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala offered some resistant’s with a 23 run partnership before Fazal (10) and Jhunjhunwala (22) were both run out as the Royals innings started to collapse.
The Royals last hope for victory was Yusuf Pathan but when Kieron Pollard struck to remove the big hitting all rounder in the 13th over the Indians could start to celebrating clinching a place in the semi finals.
The Indians got off to a bad start losing three earlier wickets as the Royals pressured the batsman into making poor shots to gain the early advantage.
Sanath Jayasuriya (1), who had been recalled to the Indians line up, was the first to go lasting only 2 balls before he picked out Abhishek Jhunjhunwala at extra cover to give Shane Watson the early break through.
Worst was to follow for the Indians two balls later when Watson bounced Ambati Rayudu (0) who glanced the ball behind to wicket keeper Naman Ojha.
Although it was given out straight away Tendulkar argued the ball was over shoulder height and after the umpires got together the decision was upheld much to the joy of Shane Warne.
Unbelievable Watson struck again in his next over to dismiss Saurabh Tiwary (15) who was caught by Abhishek Raut to reduce the Indians to 30-3 inside 4 overs.
Importantly for the Indians Tendulkar remand at the crease during Watson blitz and partnered by JP Duminy the pair rebuilt the visitors innings sharing a partnership of 63 before Siddharth Trivedi struck to remove Duminy (31) who was caught by Michael Lumb.
Tendulkar, now partnered with Kieron Pollard continued the Indians fight back as Watson was dispatched for 15 runs in the 16th over and then Aditya Dole conceded 13 runs in the next as the pair brought up their 50 partnership from 32 balls.
Pollard’s cameo innings of 25 was brought to an end by Dole from the last ball of his over to leave the Indians well placed with two overs to go with the score 143-5.
Watson’s last over was another expensive one with the Aussie conceding 11 runs including consecutive boundaries from Tendulkar.
The last over was even more spectacular with Tendulkar hitting back to back sixes of the bowling of Trivedi to help the Indians reach 174-5.