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Smith Shines On Captaincy Debut To Propel RR To Third Win

In the first game of the Super IPL Saturday, Rajasthan Royals (RR) registered a brilliant 5-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. MI opener Quinton de Kock compiled an excellent half-century knock to guide his team towards a fighting first innings total. However, in the second innings, Sanju Samson relieved the pressure of the run-chase with a quick-fire cameo. After Samson’s opening blitz, Steve Smith shined on his captaincy debut, composing a remarkable fifty. The duo comprising of Steve Smith and Riyan Parag combined together for an important partnership which in turn propelled the home team to a comfortable win.

De Kock’s gutsy half-century and Pandya’s late blitz propel MI to 161

Newly appointed RR skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bowl first as he wasn’t sure of what to expect from the Jaipur wicket. The visiting Mumbai team got dealt with a huge blow at the start of the innings as their skipper Rohit Sharma got dismissed in just the third over with 11 runs on the board. However, after his wicket, the duo comprising of Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav bailed the MI innings out of the troublesome position. The pair of de Kock and Suryakumar stitched a remarkable partnership of 97 runs for the second wicket.

De Kock compiled an excellent knock of 65 runoff 47 balls which included 6 fours and 2 sixes, before falling victim to Shreyas Gopal in the 15th over. Hardik Pandya once again gave the evidence of his stunning form, smashing a vital cameo innings of 23 runs off just 15 balls. RR fast bowler Jofra Archer had a very poor day in the field as he dropped three important catches. Towards the end, Ben Cutting smacked a few lusty blows to help MI put forward a fighting total of 161 runs on the board. Gopal was the pick of the RR bowlers, picking two crucial wickets at an impressive economy rate.

Smith and Parag’s excellent companionship leads RR in the chase

Rajasthan team management took a big decision in promoting Sanju Samson at the top of the order. On the back of Samson’s explosive onslaught, RR managed to score a fabulous total of 60 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. But then MI leg-spinner Rahul Chahar bowled a brilliant spell to pick up three big wickets in the form of Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes which in turn slowed down the scoring rate.

After those three wickets, RR skipper Steve Smith took the onus on himself of leading his team from the front. Smith compiled a remarkable partnership of 70 runs along with Riyan Parag to help RR dictate the terms. Parag played an entertaining innings of 43 runs off just 29 balls. The match did become a little bit tensed towards the end, but then Smith held his nerves amazingly well to help his team cross the finishing line comfortably with five balls to spare. The newly appointed RR skipper, Smith remained unbeaten till the end, scoring a valuable knock of 59 runs.

Brief Scores:

MI: 161/5 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock-65, Suryakumar Yadav-34; Shreyas Gopal 2/21)

RR: 162/5 in 19.1 overs (Steve Smith-59*, Riyan Parag-43; Rahul Chahar 3/29)

Result: Rajasthan Royals won the match by 5 wickets.