Mumbai Indians 214 for 4 (Suryakumar 55, David 45*, Ashwin 2-27) beat Rajasthan Royals 212 for 7 (Jaiswal 124, Arshad 3-39) by six wickets
You gotta give it to the IPL. It knows how to throw a 1000th birthday party.
Jaisw-all the way
Over 999 matches, this tournament has become part of daily life in India. The main man from its 1000th might well assume similar status as his career blossoms. Twenty-one-year-old Jaiswal defied a slow pitch to amass 124 off 62 balls with 16 fours and eight sixes. Royals’ next best contribution was 18 off 19.
His century became the top score by an uncapped Indian batter in the IPL and the one with the second-highest percentage (90.32) of runs in boundaries in all men’s T20. It was incredible and here’s a list of reasons why.
And finally, most of Jaiswal’s carnage happened at a time his team was in danger of losing the advantage. Royals were 72 for 0 in their first seven overs. Then they lost 3 for 31 in four overs. It was becoming painfully clear that the set batter had to both last the entire innings and also take care of the acceleration. That’s a lot of responsibility. Especially given he was facing a once-in-a-generation bowler in Archer.
But Jaiswal barely batted an eyelid. He scored 72 of the 109 runs Royals scored in the last nine overs. That’s a two-thirds split.
But as awesome as his shots sometimes are – in one over he scooped Jason Holder over the keeper for six and next ball, an attempted yorker from around the wicket, he whipped it straight-bat through midwicket – the thing that is really striking about Suryakumar is how much belief he has and how he is never shaken.
Not so long ago, he bagged three first-ball ducks on the trot, and yet he keeps playing the way he has always played. Epic high-risk cricket. And he had Wankhede believing. He had a crowd that roared for Sachin, that roared for Rohit, that roared for Bumrah, that roared for Malinga, roaring for him.
And suddenly Royals were worried.
A turning point
Sandeep was ignored by all ten teams at the auction. Royals only got him in when one of their first-choice quicks, Prasidh Krishna, was ruled out with injury.
In his second match of the season, he became that rare bowler who can tell his grandkids that he bested MS Dhoni in the final over of a chase. In his seventh match, he took an absolute screamer to dismiss Suryakumar on 55 off 29.
Sandeep had to run back 19 metres from short fine leg. All the while looking up over his left shoulder. Even then, the ball seemed to be beating him. He had to dive, propel himself off the ground, and reach out with both hands. It was fingertip stuff. Mumbai needed 61 off 26.
David finishes it off
It was the 18th over. He was just 11 off 6. The asking rate was up in the nosebleeds, at 16.6. And yet David batted as if he was the one on top; like the scoreboard was telling a lie.
He hit Boult for a four to close out the 18th over. He welcomed Sandeep in the 19th with a six. Panic-stricken, the bowler conceded a wide and then missed his wide yorker, only by mere inches, but it was still enough for one of the most powerful players in the world to get under the ball and find the boundary.
The equation was now down to 17 off the last over and it was to be bowled by someone who is just not suited to the task. Holder is a new-ball weapon. He doesn’t have a good enough yorker to do the job at the death. And to make matters worse, the dew had come in, making it hard to properly grip the ball.
Everything was set up for the grandstand finish and David provided it. A man who makes his name by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat went 6, 6, 6 prompting 27,000 people to go into delirium.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo