Sanju Samson anchored the Rajasthan Royals chase with his 54. (BCCI Image)
New Delhi: Rajasthan Royals' wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson followed up the good work done by his team's paceman Vikramjeet Malik to script a comprehensive seven-wicket win for the hosts against Mumbai Indians in the opening encounter of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday.
Samson anchored Rajasthan's chase with his 54 after Malik's 3 for 24 helped the hosts restrict the reigning IPL champions to 142 after wet outfield delayed toss, following a singing performance by Bollywood star Mika Singh that opened the tournament.
Rajasthan's chase didn't begin on a confident note as rookie pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile removed home skipper Rahul Dravid for just one in the second over. But Samson and Ajinkya Rahane stitched a 74-run partnership to ensure there were no more top-order hiccups.
Rahane (33) fell in the 12th over inside-edging Rishi Dhawan onto his stumps, even though match situation didn't demand him to walk down the wicket to play a big stroke. Kieron Pollard infused some hopes into the dying MI spirits with the wicket of Samson when he was caught by his fellow West Indian Dwayne Smith.
But Watson and Stuart Binny struck 27 not out each to end any hopes still alive in the Mumbai camp. Coulter-Nile, Pollard and Dhawan took a wicket each for MI.
Mumbai, who were put in to bat by Dravid, never got the measure of the wicket in overcast conditions and kept losing wickets at crucial intervals before Rohit Sharma (44) and Pollard (42) lifted them past 140.
Earlier, Tendulkar began on a promising note, especially with his guide past backward point and a pick-up four over the covers. It looked that the Mumbai icon was in a frame of mind to play his strokes, but Smith, who scored just 9, was trapped lbw by Malik in the second over to restrict Tendulkar's freedom.
Karthik became Malik's second victim and was bowled after scoring just 2 off 11 balls. Tendulkar (15) was dismissed when the MI score was just 38 in the eighth over. Ambati Rayudu (3) was run out after a misuderstanding with skipper Rohit saw both standing at the same end and Dravid coolly removed the bails.
Rohit and Pollard then added 42 runs but Sharma couldn't stay the course and was removed by Watson. Malik then got rid of Pollard just when it looked that the West Indian will help his team cross the 150-run mark. Coulter-Nile helped Mumbai finish the innings with a bang as he hit a six and a four in his 5-ball 12*.
The win added to Rajasthan's all-win home record in IPL6.