A dominant Rajasthan Royals did the double over the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Monday, coming up with a nine-wicket win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Mumbai skipper Hardik Pandya had won the toss and opted to bat first, but the heroics of Sandeep Sharma, in his first match since his return from injury, saw Mumbai struggle to get to 179/9 at the end of 20 overs.

That total proved to be no match for the Royals batters, as Yashasvi Jaiswal – who had been out of form – found his touch once again. The young left-hander powered his way to an unbeaten century, as the hosts scored 183/1 with eight balls to spare in a match that was briefly interrupted by rain.

The win further secures the Royals’ spot at the top of the table, on 14 points. They have so far won seven of the eight matches they have played, and are four points ahead of the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

ALSO READ: How Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel were helped by Rajasthan Royals’ training methods

Turning point of the match

Mumbai had a poor start to the batting innings, reeling at 52/4 in the eighth over. But the young left-handed duo of Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera steadied the ship for the visitors.

Varma played more of an anchor role, scoring 65 off 45, while Wadhera went after the bowlers, striking at a rate of 204.17. Together the duo stitched a 99-run partnership in nine overs.

Wadhera’s wicket however – he was dismissed for 49 off 24 deliveries – effectively stopped the scoring.

Pandya scored a run-a-ball 10, and Tim David managed just three before the tailenders were brought in to bat.

Since Wadhera’s wicket to the end of the innings, Mumbai managed to score only 28 runs from 23 deliveries.

The Field’s player of the match

There were really only two options for this one.

Jaiswal has struggled for runs so far this season – his best before Monday this term was 39 against the Punjab Kings. He put in an impressive performance with the bat to score his first ton this season, remaining unbeaten on 104.

However, Sandeep Sharma’s fabulous display with the ball eclipsed all others. In a tournament where conditions, pitches, and short boundaries are favouring batters, Sharma picked up five wickets for just 18 runs in his four overs – the best figures this season.

And he came up with this performance in his first match since returning to the squad after an injury that saw him miss five games for his team.

On Monday, he picked up the important wickets of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav before dismissing Varma, David and Gerald Coetzee.

‘Have to have a big heart’

Sharma was declared fit by his team just two days prior to the match. And he made good on his much-awaited return to the team with an impressive five-for.

“If you’re bowling in the end, you have to have a big heart. We’ve seen it in this IPL that the bowlers are under the pump and going big. It’s important to have a big heart and keep trying to have variations and a plan. That’s what I’m trying to do.

“Two years back I went unsold and came in as a replacement. So, any game that I’m playing I’m taking as a bonus and enjoying myself.”

Points table after the Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians match | Courtesy: Jio Cinema