Stoke ton sees Rajasthan upstage MI



Ben Stokes scored a 60-ball 107 as Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets.

Ben Stokes hit his second Indian Premier League (IPL) century as Rajasthan Royals completed a thrilling chase against Mumbai Indians. After Mumbai Indians, without regular captain Rohit Sharma, posted 195 on the board on the back of Hardik Pandya’s stunning half-century, Ben Stokes’ 60-ball 107 and Sanju Samson’s third half-century of the season propelled Rajasthan Royals to an eight-wicket victory in what was a must-win match for them. Despite losing Robin Uthappa early and captain Steve Smith soon after, Stokes and Samson ensured they chased down the target with 10 deliveries to spare.

Ben Stokes, whose only other IPL century also came in a big chase, showed his intent right from the start of the Royals’ inning. Chasing a big total, Stokes did not face a delivery in the first two overs. In his first six deliveries, he smashed Trent Boult for 16 runs, to put the pressure right back on Mumbai Indians after Robin Uthappa got out to James Pattinson in the previous over.

From then on, it was a display of continued aggression from him. Stokes ensured the Royals didn’t slow down, chasing a big total, even after Steve Smith chopped one on from Pattinson soon after.

Sanju Samson, who has struggled to find form after an explosive start to the season, took time to settle, before tearing into the bowlers.

Stokes hit a six off Boult’s first delivery in the 19th over to get to his century and followed it up with a boundary off the next ball to lead the Royals to a crucial two points, keeping them alive in the race for the fourth spot.

Earlier, Jofra Archer gave the Royals an early breakthrough with Quinton de Kock’s wicket in the first over.

Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav rebuilt for MI, before Kishan fell to Kartik Tyagi.

Soon after, Shreyas Gopal dismissed Yadav and stand-in captain Kieron Pollard to put MI under pressure.

But Saurabh Tiwary picked up the pace and Hardik Pandya went on a blitzkrieg as they went on to score 195.

Pandya finished with 60 off 21 deliveries.

With the win, Rajasthan Royals are now at 6th place with 10 points from 12 games.

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