Play in the "V" they say, but Suryakumar Yadav did the exact opposite, accumulating majority of his runs behind the stumps against Rajasthan Royals. The 30-year-old smashed 79* off 47 deliveries before Jasprit Bumrah and Co. took over and propelled Mumbai Indians to a 57-run win in Match No. 20 of the Indian Premier League 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (October 6).
Opting to bat, Suryakumar played an outstanding innings, but he was well supported by other batsman as Mumbai amassed 193/4 in their 20 overs. In reply, Jos Buttler clobbered a 44-ball 70, studded with four fours and five maximums, but found no support from other batters as Rajasthan were bundled out for 136 in 18.1 overs. Meanwhile, Bumrah returned back to form by picking up 4 for 20, his best IPL figures.
Having dismissed Rohit Sharma twice in four innings, Steve Smith gave the new ball to Ankit Rajpoot but the Mumbai skipper brushed him aside with his fluent strokeplay. The right-handed opener greeted him with an eye-pleasing late cut before lofting him for a maximum down the ground. Quinton de Kock too looked in fine touch from the word go and didn't allow Rajpoot and Jofra Archer to settle in.
The wicketkeeper-batsman heaved Archer for a four and a six and accumulated 12 runs from his first over. That's when debutant Kartik Tyagi was introduced into the attack and the right-arm paceman didn't have to wait too long for his maiden IPL wicket. Tyagi, who impressed everyone with his pace and swing in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, dismissed de Kock for a 15-ball 23 with a well-directed bouncer. The South African batsman was beaten for pace, but that didn't bother Rohit as he continued to take the attack to the Rajasthan bowlers.
Rohit found an able ally in Suryakumar Yadav and the two kept the scoreboard moving at a pretty good pace. Suryakumar was brilliant through the covers and also crafted Tyagi for three boundaries in an over. Mumbai were 88 for 1 at the end of nine overs and the duo had already added 39 runs, before Shreyas Gopal got rid of Rohit (23-ball 35) and Ishan Kishan (0) in consecutive deliveries to put a break on Mumbai's charge. The legspinner finished with figures of 2 for 28.
Mumbai promoted Krunal Pandya to reduce the threat of legspinners Gopal and Rahul Tewatia but the move didn't quite work as the left-hander struggled to get going. Krunal managed only 12 off 17 deliveries before falling to Archer. Suryakumar however carried on and got to his first fifty of the season with a classy depth touch in the 16th over. Tom Curran was once again inconsistent with his line and length in his last two overs and Suryakumar and Hardik made the most if it.
Suryakumar in particular targeted the short square boundaries and along with Hardik hammered Curran for 19 runs in the third-last over. He then reverse lapped Archer over wicketkeeper Buttler for a maximum and left everyone in awe. Suryakumar walked off with his highest IPL score, while Hardik (19-ball 30*) too chipped in with a fiery cameo to ensure Mumbai got a blistering finish.
In response, Rajasthan got off to a worst possible start as they lost three wickets in as many overs. Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was brought back into the side, was sent back in the hut for a duck, while Smith (6) fell to Jasprit Bumrah in the second over. It was a replica of his dismissal against Pat Cummins in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders, where he went for an unnecessary slog and ended up edging it to the wicketkeeper.
Meanwhile, Sanju Samson, who started this year's IPL with a bang, failed to open his account and became Trent Boult's second victim. After having scored 74 and 85 in his first two innings of the season, Samson has only managed 12 in his last three innings. Mahipal Lomror (11) looked good during his stay in the middle before Anukul Roy pulled off a blinder at short cover to reduce Rajasthan to 42 for 4, leaving Buttler with a strenuous task.
With wickets falling at the other end, the opener from England took some time to settle in before going bonkers after the end of eight overs. Having scored 24 in his first 24 deliveries, Buttler smashed 46 in his next 20. He went after Rahul Chahar and Krunal and smacked them all around the park. Buttler kept Rajasthan's hope alive for a while, but just when the things were starting to heat up, Kieron Pollard pulled off a one-handed stunner at long-off to send him back in the 14th over.
There was no Tewatia special either as he was knocked over by Bumrah for just 5. Archer (11-ball 24) played an entertaining cameo but never threatened Mumbai who are now sitting at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Rajasthan have now lost three games in a row and are at No. 8.