Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], Apr 23 (ANI): Rajasthan Royals' (RR) batsman Krishnappa Gowtham played a blistering knock under pressure to hand his team a nail-biting three-wicket win over current defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday.
The 29-year-old all-rounder from Karnataka stunned the three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions with an unbeaten 33 of 11 balls, laced with four fours and two sixes.
Needing 10 runs to win from the last over, MI bowler Hardik Pandya dismissed Royals' Jofra Archer in the first ball of the 19th over. However, Gowtham kept his cool and slammed a boundary and a six in the next three balls to give the 2008 champions a much-needed victory.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat first on a slow track. Opener Evan Lewis was dismissed for a golden duck in the very first over of the game by Royals' Dhawal Kulkarni, before Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav stitched a 129-run partnership to keep the scoreboard ticking for Mumbai.
The three-time champions looked good for a score between 190-200, when Archer, who made his IPL debut broke the partnership. He subsequently bowled slower and knuckleballs to peg back Rajasthan back into the game.
In the process, Mumbai collapsed from 130 for 1 in 14.2 overs to muster only 167 for 7, as only 37 runs were made in the last five overs.
Skipper Rohit Sharma too failed to misjudge a run as he ran himself out.
Archer bowled superb yorker deliveries to dismiss Hardik Pandya (4) and Mitchell McClenaghan (0) and dismissed Krunal Pandya (7), as he finished with figures of 3 for 22. He was adjourned Man of the Match for his splendid performance.
Kulkarni (2 for 32) and Jaydev Unadkat (1 for 31) were the other wicket-takers for Royals.
Chasing 168, Rajasthan did not get the perfect start as skipper Ajinkya Rahane (14) and his partner Rahul Tripathi (9) departed in the first six overs.
However, Englishman Ben Stokes (40) and Sanju Samson (52) shared a crucial 72-run partnership to put the 2008 champions back in the game.
Stokes and Samson were instrumental in running between the wickets and finding the gaps regularly.
However, Hardik broke the partnership and along with Jasprit Bumrah (2 for 28), Royals soon lost a cluster of wickets.
Needing 43 runs from 22 balls when Samson and wicketkeeper Jos Butler were dismissed, Gowtham played a scintillating knock to give Rajasthan their third win in six matches. They are now in the fifth position on the table.
Meanwhile, Mumbai lost four matches, all of them being close encounters, as they are languishing in the seventh position. Delhi Daredevils (DD) are occupying the bottom position on the table.
On April 23, Delhi will lock horns with second-placed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the national capital at 8 pm. (ANI)