Jaipur: Krishnappa Gowtham produced a blinder of a knock after Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes smartly negotiated a slow track as Rajasthan Royals pulled off a nail-biting three-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match.
The pitch was not conducive for stroke-making but Samson (52) and Stokes (40 off 27) added 72 runs for the third wicket to push their side close to the finish line and the hosts eventually crossed it with two balls to spare. Gowtham conjured up an unbeaten 11-ball 33-run knock under pressure, hitting two sixes and four fours to seal a thrilling win for his side.
It was not a big target on board as the hosts chased 168 but the wicket had slowed down considerably and required a lot of patience to score runs. Samson was in control of his innings but Jasprit Bumrah (2/28) dismissed him and Jos Buttler in successive balls in the 17th over to raise his side’s hopes. When Samson got out, Royals required 43 runs from 22 balls. It became 28 from 12 after Gowtham found a six and a four off Mustafizur Rehman.
The Karnataka batsman in company of Jofra Archer found scored 18 runs from Bumrah’s next over and needed 10 from the last for a thrilling win. Hardik Pandya was given the ball and removed Archer in the first ball but Gowtham steered the next ball for a four in the third-man region and finished off the match in the fourth ball with a gigantic six. Royals lost Rahul Tripathi (9) and captain Ajinkya Rahane (14) inside Powerplay overs and were going at about seven runs an over. Samson and Stokes kept the scoreboard ticking, keeping the required run-rate under control.
It was only third win for the Royals in six matches while Mumbai Indians suffered fourth defeat in five matches.