Suryakumar helps Mumbai Indians to first win of IPL season

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Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the match.

India’s Suryakumar Yadav made 51 as IPL heavyweights Mumbai Indians finally won their first match in nine attempts this season with a five-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

Chasing 159 to win, Mumbai relied on an 81-run third-wicket stand between Suryakumar (51) and Tilak Varma (35) to achieve their target with four balls to spare at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium.

Suryakumar and Varma fell in the space of three balls and Kieron Pollard was out for 10 in the final over as Royals threatened to snatch victory.

But Singapore batter Tim David smashed 20 off nine balls and Daniel Sams hit the winning six.

Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai, the richest and most successful side in Indian Premier League history with five titles, bounced back from a record eight losses but stay bottom of the 10-team table.

In-form Jos Buttler smashed 67 to guide Royals to 158-6 but the total was not enough for the team who paid tribute to their first captain and late Australian hero Shane Warne in the game.

Royals, who won the inaugural IPL in 2008 under Warne, had “SW23” printed on their players’ collars and both teams stood in line for a minute’s applause at the start of the match.

Buttler, who leads the tournament batting chart with 566 runs including three centuries, held up his collar after reaching his third half-century.

In reply, Suryakumar put the chase on track after birthday boy Rohit, who turned 35, fell for two and fellow partner Ishan Kishan for 26.

Suryakumar reached his third half-century of the season off 36 balls with a six off Ravichandran Ashwin before falling to Chahal’s leg-spin in the next over, but by point that he had done enough to help Mumbai snap their losing run.

Agence France-Presse

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