The 47the match of IPL 2018 saw Mumbai Indians playing Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium. The match was a crucial one as both MI and RR had to win the match to stay alive in the race of reaching playoffs.
Ajinkya Rahane, RR captain, won the toss and immediately chose to bowl first. RR made three changes, bringing in S Gopal, D’Arcy Short, and Dhawal Kulkarni. MI went in unchanged in the must-win game.
Suryakumar Yadav (38 with 7 fours) and Evin Lewis (60 in 42 balls; 4x4s, 6x4s) added 87 runs in 10.4 overs for the opening stand. Though, Archer removed Suryakumar and then Rohit Sharma for a first ball duck, in two consecutive deliveries. Kulkarni removed Lewis and MI’s innings started to derail a bit. Kishan went for 12 to Stokes, to a brilliant catch by Samson. Hardik played a cameo of 36 in 21 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes, before Stokes again had him caught by Samson, to an even better catch.
MI finally ended up with 168/6 in 20 overs. Jofra Archer was the pick of RR bowlers with 2/16 and Stokes picked 2/26 in their respective four overs.
RR knew that they needed to step on the accelerator from the start and though Short was dismissed by Bumrah for 4, Rahane (37) and Jos Buttler kept RR in hunt of the target. MI captain Rohit Sharma and fans alike saw their spirit broken with every boundary hit by Buttler, who scored his fifth consecutive half-century in IPL 2018. Hardik Pandya took 2/52 and was the most successful bowler for MI.
Sanju Samson (26 off 13, 2 fours and 2 sixes) joined Buttler and hit a few big hits to take his team to the win with some overs in the kitty. Buttler remained unbeaten on 94 from 53 balls with 9 fours and 5 sixes and single-handedly took RR to the win, for the second straight time in two matches.
With this win, RR kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive. MI, on the hand, are all but out of the race of the playoffs, as they needed to win every remaining game before this match.
MI 168/6 (E LEWIS 60; J ARCHER 2/16) defeat RR 171/3 (J BUTTLER 94*; H PANDYA 2/52) by 7 wickets