Mumbai ease to victory
Aditya Tare compiled a half-century before the Mumbai Indians eased to a 14-run win over the Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Full Scorecard: Mumbai v Rajasthan
Tare weighed in with 59 off just 37 balls as Mumbai posted 166 for eight after being asked to bat.
Rajasthan slumped to 88 for six before managing to cobble 152 for seven together thanks to a 56-run seventh-wicket partnership between Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge.
The win saw Mumbai strengthen their grip on second place on the log with Rajasthan remaining in third.
Opening batsman Tare, playing for the injured Sachin Tendulkar, made full use of his opportunity at the top of the order as he struck eight fours and a six before he was caught in the covers off the bowling of seamer Kevon Cooper.
The 25-year-old Tare based his innings on traditional cricket strokes and did not have to resort to slogging as he reached his fifty off just 30 deliveries.
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Tare and Dinesh Karthik combined for a 76-run second-wicket stand off 8.3 overs with Karthik playing a junior role in compiling a run-a-ball 21 but he departed in the 12th over when he slapped a delivery from leg-spinner Pravin Tambe to Sanju Samson at deep midwicket.
Tare departed in the next over as the hosts slipped to 108 for three before Rohit Sharma (14) and Kieron Pollard plundered 30 runs off 3.1 over for the fifth wicket.
However, Sharma departed when he top-edged a delivery from left-arm quick James Faulkner and was caught at short fine leg and Pollard was run out for 17 as Rajasthan pegged Mumbai back to 144 for five in the 17th over.
Ambati Rayudu (seven) was dismissed by Shane Watson, caught at deep midwicket, but Harbhajan Singh struck a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings in compiling 15 not out off seven balls.
Watson ended with 2-30 off four overs and took two catches while Faulkner claimed 2-32.
Rajasthan made a stuttering start to their run chase as they slipped to 26 for three with Rahul Dravid (four), Faulkner (12) and Samson (four) the men dismissed.
Left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson (2-23) captured two of the three wickets to fall but worse was to follow for Rajasthan as Ajinkya Rahane (four) slapped a delivery from seamer Dhawal Kulkarni (2-21) to Lasith Malinga at mid-on as the Royals crashed to 28 for four inside six overs.
Shane Watson (19) struck consecutive sixes off an over from paceman Malinga before he smashed a long-hop from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha straight to Pollard at midwicket to leave Rajasthan on a parlous 58 for five.
Dishant Yagnik (10) did not last long before Hodge, with 39 off 27 balls, and Binny, with 37 not out off 29 deliveries, took the Royals to 144 at the start of the last over but Hodge was trapped leg-before by Malinga to ensure the victory for Mumbai.
MUMBAI INDIANS: KD Karthik (wk), AP Tare, RG Sharma (capt), GJ Maxwell, KA Pollard, AT Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, MG Johnson, DS Kulkarni, SL Malinga, PP Ojha
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: R Dravid (capt), AM Rahane, SR Watson, SV Samson, STR Binny, BJ Hodge, DH Yagnik (wk), K Cooper, JP Faulkner, AA Chavan, PV Tambe