A 163–run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith for the first wicket has ensured Mumbai Indians cruise to a ten-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League match at Jaipur. The Mumbai duo bettered the previous best of 159 by Chennai Super Kings' Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay in IPL 4.
Chasing a challenging total of 163, Mumbai were given a solid start by openers Tendulkar and Smith. The duo were involved in an unbeaten partnership that steered visitors past the target in 18 overs. Rajasthan bowlers didn't seem to have any answer to the big partnership of Mumbai openers.
Luck was also with Mumbai as both Smith and Tendulkar got a few reprieves. While Smith was let off when wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik missed an easy stumping off Brad Hogg in the left-arm spinner's first over, Tendulkar had a close shave before the ball went through a diving Watson's hands.
Earlier, Dhawal Kulkarni staked his claim for a place in the Mumbai Indians line-up ahead of the playoffs with a superb three-wicket spell but still Rajasthan managed to score 162 for 6. The right-arm medium pacer ended with the figures of 3 for 18.
Shane Watson top-scored for Rajasthan with 45 off 36 balls that included four boundaries and two sixes before Owais
Shah and Ashok Menaria provided the late flourish to post a challenging total. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Rahul Dravid lasted just five deliveries before sending a thick edge off Kulkarni to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps for five.
The hosts were dealt another blow in the sixth over when Ajinkya Rahane (13) was sent back as he pulled a short ball straight to midwicket. Watson along with Stuart Binny added 53 runs for the third wicket to stabilise Rajasthan's innings, before Kieron Pollard struck to remove both men. Pollard ran Binny out and Watson ended up holing out to deep midwicket after mistiming Pollard's final delivery in the 14th over.
Shah then produced a few hits to the fence, including a six and a four off Pollard, to prop up Rajasthan's innings. He along with Ashok Menaria (21) shared a 43-run stand and kept the scoreboard ticking over with the home side setting target of 163.