Their best start in the tournament – they did not lose a wicket in the powerplay – Rajasthan Royals Quinton de Cock scored an unbeaten 70 as Mumbai chased down without looking big.
Two matches, one of the most aesthetic anti-stadiums in the world, in Delhi, a pattern is emerging. Runs have to be made, but batsmen must do the timing, not chase muscle strength. David Warner found his loss on Wednesday and some Rajasthan batsmen also broke down. They look for big beef hits, but overall they have come a long way to make any significant dent.
The sweet timers, on the other hand, whistled well. Another night Kane Williamson and Thursday Sanju Samson lend weight to this theory. In fact, the smartest player of the day was probably Quinton de Cock from Mumbai. With Samson and Williamson, they are their natural game so it is not surprising that they prioritize time. However, De Cock could have struggled at the ball but against Rajasthan, he chose to rely on timing.
Whether he comes into the game without more runs or he reads the pitch well as a wicket-keeper, he is focused on reaching the positions where he can hit the ball empty. How he shuffled to the off side and brought Chetan Zakaria to the fine-leg boundary in the third over. Or he led Mustafizur Rahman as a four to third man before opening a lovely pick-up shot for a six over on the square-leg in the fourth over.
Or the way he made four-time straight from Jayadev Unadkat to the boundary in the ninth over. On a rare occasion he went for a huge hip in the 14th over, he was almost out at deep mid-off but the successful Jaiswal who came back from mid-off could not catch the difficult opportunity.
They have lost wickets in a clutch in the powerplaces so far, and it seemed a small victory that they did not lose any wickets until eight overs. Do not mind that this is the only convenient thing for them from the game. Once Jose Butler fell after 41, the innings lost steam. Shivam Dubey, the longest striker, hit four boundaries with two sixes, but he managed only 35 off the ball. If only the other opener Butler or Jaiswal who made Sweet 32 would have continued!
Butler started hitting Mumbai, who was guilty of bowling too low and suddenly, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar adjusted his length. He tore a fuller and passed Butler, who was charging like a runaway train. Left-hander Jaiswal just hit a six to Chahar and tried to turn the strike with a nudge onside, but found the edge on Google to pop the simple return catch.
They scored 91 for 2 in 9.5 overs and although Samson creamed five fours in his 27-ball 42, the real ammunition did not come from anyone else. In the first game in Delhi, Sunrisers Hyderabad also scored 171, which did not bother the Chennai Super Kings. Teams must aim at least 190-200 to test the chasing team in Delhi, or look at this stage.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 171/4 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 42, 27b, 5×4; Jose Butler 41, 32b, 3×4, 3×6; Rahul Chahar 2/33) lost 172/3 to Mumbai Indians in 18.3 overs ( Quinton de Cock 70 not out, 50b, 6×4, 2×6; Krunal Pandya 39, 26b, 2×4, 2×6; Chris Morris 2/33) by seven wickets.