It was yesteryear team-mate Shane Watson, who hammered home the points with a 10 wicket victory for Rajasthan Royals over Mumbai Indians, which helped give a befitting ‘farewell gift’ to skipper Shane Warne, who had played his last match Friday before a capacity crowd in Mumbai. Well, the win might not have helped RR, yet it could upset Mumbai Indian as their chances for play off precariously balanced. Chasing the small target of 133 set by Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians, RR opener Watson smashed a breath-taking unbeaten 47-ball 89-run knock to thrash Mumbai Indians by 10 wickets in their last IPL match here. It was undoubtedly a stunning display of stroke-play by Watson as out-of-contention Rajasthan got their acts together in time to give a befitting farewell to their inspiration captain Warne.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians were restricted by shrewd RR skipper Warne. After losing early wickets for 17 in 4 overs, including that of opener Sachin Tendulkar, Sharma, who came in, slammed five fours and a six in his 47-ball 58-run innings before being dismissed by Australian spin legend Shane Warne. Sharma was involved in two fruitful stands – 48 runs with captain Sachin Tendulkar who made an unimpressive 31 in 35 balls and 53 runs in 39 balls for the fourth wicket with Kieron Pollard (20) – that upped the scoring rate. Shane Watson emerged as the pick of the bowlers for the Royals, who are already out of contention for a berth in the play-offs, with a haul of three for 19.
With this loss, Mumbai Indians have to struggle hard to win their last league match, to consolidate their position to qualify for the play-offs. However, much depends on Adam Gilchrist-led Kings XI Punjab, which has to win their last league match to be in contention for the ‘semis’ berth. If Kings XI and Mumbai Indians loses their last league matches, yet the latter (Mumbai Indians) make it as it had already won eight matches against the former (Kings XI) seven.