Samson and Malik help Rajasthan take first strike

Jaipur:  Sanju Samson’s half-century and Vikramjeet's Malik three-wicket haul helped the Rajasthan Royals defeat the Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets in the first match of the 2013 Champions League T20 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Saturday.

Chasing 143 for victory, the Royals lost Dravid early, after he cut the ball straight into the hands of  Kieron Pollard at point of Nathan Coulter-Nile. Samson (54) then got together with Ajinkya Rahane (33) with a 74-run partnership to put the home team on track. The right-handed teenager was however lucky to survive a plumb lbw shout from Mitchell Johnson, only to be turned down by the umpire.

While Samson rode his luck, Mumbai did break the partnership after Rishi Dhawan bowled Rahane in the 11th over. Samson brought up his half-century and looked to take Rajasthan home, when he was dismissed by Kieron Pollard. At the end of the over, the local boys would need 33 from 24.

Shane Watson (27*) and Stuart Binny (27*) however ensured that there would be no hiccups, as they batted confidently to take their side home with two balls remaining.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to field. Mumbai lost Dwayne Smith early, who lost the ball when he was going for a pull shot, and was trapped leg-before-wicket by Man-of-the-Match Vikramjeet Malik (3/24). The terrible start continued as Dinesh Karthik was bowled by Malik in a subsequent over.

Mumbai Indians 26/2.

Sachin Tendulkar (15) didn’t hang around for too long, hitting three fours in his knock, before edging the ball to Sanju Samson off Stuart Binny. Ambati Rayudu’s run out made life worse. Rohit Sharma (44) and Kieron Pollard (42) came to the rescue with a 52-run partnership for the 5th wicket. After Rohit fell to Shane Watson, Pollard tried hard to put the foot on the accelerator, only to fall off the first ball of the last over.

Thanks to some lusty hitting from Nathan Coulter-Nile (12* runs off 5 balls), Mumbai were able to make it to 142/7.

But the Rajasthan Royals had the last laugh.

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