Rajasthan Royals (RR) were completely taken apart by the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in match 51 of IPL 2021 at Sharjah.
Opting to bowl first, MI restricted RR to a paltry 90/9 in their quota of 20 overs. The Mumbai-based franchise managed to chase it down in just 8.2 overs with 70 balls to spare thanks to Ishan Kishan’s blistering knock of 50 (25).
Sanju Samson-led side coming off a fantastic win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK), played their first match of IPL 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium struggled as no RR batter looked comfortable with the bat.
“It was a bit challenging wicket to bat on, it was tougher in the first innings. Coming from Abu Dhabi, playing in Sharjah was a massive difference. Can't blame the batsmen a lot, but it was tough to bat in the first innings,” Samson said during the post-match presentation.
RR played the majority of their matches at Abu Dhabi on a batting conducive wicket and due to this, the captain Samson felt switching to a bowler-friendly Sharjah was tough.
“Abu Dhabi had one of the best batting wickets, switching to Sharjah was tough. Mindset - it's a bit cloudy right now, we need to take some time off and then think about the next game. We'd definitely like to play a better game of cricket in the next game,” the Kerala-based cricketer said.
Even though RR picked 2 wickets in the powerplay, Ishan Kishan’s swashbuckling batting ensured MI win the match inside 10 overs to improve their net run rate to get a spot in the top 4 and qualify for the playoffs.
“We knew that they'll be coming strong, in the powerplay they wanted to increase the run-rate. The wicket was a bit better than the first innings but they batted really well,” the 26-year-old Sanju Samson concluded.
RR will next lock horns with the two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Thursday (7 October) at the same venue in Sharjah.
(With ANI Inputs)