24th May: Mumbai Indians v R. Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Mumbai Indians 163-0 (Smith 87no) beat
Rajasthan Royals 162-6 by 10 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Jaipur
Mumbai Indians warmed up for the Indian Premier League 2012 play-offs in style, inflicting a 10-wicket defeat on Rajasthan Royals in the last league match of the season at Jaipur.
Mumbai had already finished third and Rajasthan are now confirmed seventh in the points table.
Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bat first. Rahul Dravid, probably turning out for the last time in a cricket match, scored only five runs before Dhawal Kulkarni had him caught behind.
He also got two more wickets, those of Ajinkya Rahane (13 off 17 balls) and later, Ashok Menaria (21 off 20 balls), finishing with three for 18 in his four overs. Rajasthan meanwhile were propped up by Shane Watson and his 53-run partnership with Stuart Binny.
Watson made 45 runs off 36 balls with four fours and two sixes, while Binny contributed 30 off 17 balls. He hit three fours and two sixes, and was out in the 12th over.
Owais Shah then provided some momentum to the innings and after Watson was out in the 14th over, pushed the score beyond 150 with Menaria. Their partnership was worth 43 runs, coming in 29 balls. He made 28 off 24 balls, with one four and one six, remaining unbeaten in the end.
Rajasthan finished with 162 for six and were looking set to defend their record of never having been beaten at home after crossing the 160-mark.
But Sachin Tendulkar and his new opening partner Dwayne Smith had other plans. They thrashed the Rajasthan bowling mercilessly to take Mumbai home without the loss of a single wicket. Both the batsmen scored half-centuries and completely dominated the bowling, winning the match with two overs to spare.
Tendulkar scored his second half-century of the tournament, remaining unbeaten on 58 runs off 51 balls. He hit six boundaries and was comfortable playing second fiddle to Smith who really rocked the run-scoring.
Smith finished with 87 not out, off only 58 balls, bringing up his first half-century in IPL 2012. He hit ten fours and three sixes, scoring at a strike rate of 150.
The play-offs will begin on Tuesday (22nd May), with Delhi Daredevils taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at Pune, the winner going on to the final.
On Wednesday, Mumbai Indians will clash with Chennai Super Kings in Bangalore. The loser of the Pune game will take on the winner of the Bangalore match at Chennai on Friday to decide the second finalist.
© Cricket World 2012
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