Latest TRP reports suggest IPL 2012 is not attracting as much viewership as it was in first four seasons but the kind of spirited chase Rajasthan put forward to Mumbai's tall target today, interest is bound come sooner than later..
Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu built up a massive total for Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium today, the biggest of the tournament so far but Owais Shah smashed home team bowlers to all parts of the wet ground to keep visitors in hunt untill Lasith Malinga brought sanity to the game, taking two wickets for two runs in one over at a crucial juncture.
It was a strange decision from Rajasthan Royals' captain Rahul Dravid to bowl first, like 9 others have done so far this year in 11 previous games, probably hoping for dew to make chase easier (which indeed happened) but Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh was happy to bat first. Richard Levi looked good for a big score before 41 year old Brad Hogg bowled him the over after he had done the same to Rohit Sharma. Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard joined each other at the 9th over mark and slowly started to target spinners.
Taking 22 overs from one Johan Botha over including a 105 meter six (the biggest of IPL 2012 so far, beating 102 meter six by Ravindra Jadeja), Kieron Pollard started to accelerate scoring untill his 96 runs stand with Rayudu was broken by Ankeet Chavan. Rayudu continued till the end while Harbhajan Singh smashed couple of sixes to put a handsome total on board.
Rajasthan lost their captain and opener Rahul Dravid in the second over and wicket keeper Shreevats Goswami next ball but Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah settled down quickly and runs started to flow. Rahane made classical 40 runs but real threat to home team was posed by Shah who looked invincible in his half century punchuated with five fours and as many sixes.
Rajasthan were marginally ahead in comparison of Mumbai's rate at the 14th over mark which forced Mumbai captain to bring back his lethal weapon = Lasith Malinga. Shah must have played out the over but he was in such mood that he couldn't stop himself and home team got hold of the match again and once for all.
Kieron Pollard made his maiden half century in IPL career as well as took four wickets to go with his acrobatic fielding and a catch to earn man of the match.