Unprecedented Crowd Behaviour Amid Rajasthan Royals’ Dominance Over Mumbai Indians

RR outplayed MI all departments to remain unbeaten in the tournament. (Source: IPL/X)

Probably for the first time in the history of the IPL, a toss presenter asked the crowd to ‘behave’ when they welcomed the home team captain with a chorus of boos. The fans who were booing Hardik Pandya turned quiet by the end of the game as Rajasthan Royals firstly dominated the proceedings with the ball, restricting Mumbai Indians to below 130. The impressive performance of RR’s new ball bowlers, showcasing both swing and seam bowling skills, along with the craftiness of Yuzvendra Chahal, left the five-time champions looking like newbies on their home turf. Subsequently, RR chased down the target with relative ease with the help of a fine Riyan Parag.

Boult-Burger Stun MI

When the coin landed in favour of RR skipper Sanju Samson, he wasted no time in opting to bowl first on a pitch showing a hint of grass. The decision proved to be a correct one, particularly with the performance of the two overseas left-arm pacers. There was a bit of everything for them – swing, deviation off the wicket, and some extra lift off the deck on occasions for Burger.

Trent Boult, familiar with Wankhede’s conditions, wreaked havoc early on with the new ball, accounting for the dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Naman Dhir in quick succession. Dewald Brevis soon became Boult’s third victim. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan seemed determined to take an aggressive approach from the start, punishing anything within his reach. However, Burger’s pace occasionally caught him off guard, leading to his eventual dismissal with a nick behind the stumps off the South African left-arm speedster. To Ishan’s credit, he had little room to maneuver against that delivery. Notably, all four wickets fell to deliveries pitched on a good length, indicating the ideal bowling strategy for the conditions. Anything short or overpitched proved easy pickings for the batters. Five wickets were taken later in the innings, with Chahal taking three wickets. However, that only happened after the maximum damage was done by the RR’s two left-armers.

Pandya’s counter-attack

Hardik Pandya walked out to quite an interesting reception, but the boos soon turned into mellow applause as the MI skipper led a counter-attack from the front. When Pandya came in at No. 6 with Mumbai tottering at 20 for 4, he looked to bail his team out of trouble. He appeared laser-focused. Despite the loss of four wickets, Pandya took the aggressive route and smashed three boundaries in one over off Burger. That came against the run of play and certainly pleased MI fans, who appreciated Pandya’s efforts. He was cheered three more times as he hit three more boundaries before he was outfoxed by Yuzvendra Chahal to get out on 34 (21).

Bumrah’s wicketless spell with the new ball

For Mumbai to have any chance of defending a target of 126, they needed their pace bowling spearhead, Jasprit Bumrah, to do what Boult did in the first innings: rattle opposition’s top-order. However, it didn’t happen. Pandya did well to make Bumrah bowl three overs in the powerplay, but there was no luck for the right-arm pacer as his skipper dropped Jos Buttler at mid-off in the fourth over. To be fair to Bumrah, he bowled his heart out; he even induced an edge off Samson’s bat but failed to bag a single wicket. He moved the ball both ways at a good pace, which made life difficult for RR batters. But to RR’s credit, they negotiated Bumrah’s threat well, and that really played a big part in RR’s win.

Parag Stands Tall

On a pitch where top Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson struggled, a 22-year-old uncapped Riyan Parag smashed an unbeaten half-century to take his team home. That’s what IPL is all about. With two wickets down inside the powerplay, someone had to steer RR’s ship home, and Parag took on that responsibility. It was Bumrah’s final over, and on his fourth ball, Parag managed to smash a boundary off a yorker, which is Bumrah’s most dangerous weapon. To play that shot against someone like Bumrah, you need both courage and skill, and it seems Parag has both. That proves he’s seeing the ball well, and the way he’s absorbing the pressure and taking the onus on himself to finish games for his team are good signs for RR going ahead in the competition.

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