It was a homecoming that Mumbai Indians would not have been anticipating. After two losses in the first two matches of the IPL 2024, the Hardik Pandya-led side was in desperate need of some home comfort. But MI batters failed to impress against a fiery Rajasthan Royals bowling as three of their top four batters were out on 0. They scored only 125/9 – the lowest 1st innings at IPL 2024 so far. The batters who fell for duck were Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir and Dewald Brevis.

Former MI skipper Rohit Sharma fell for a golden duck (when a batter gets out on the first ball he or she faces). It was his 17th duck in the IPL – the joint-most in  the tournament alongside Dinesh Karthik. The duo is followed by Piyush Chawla (16 ducks).

Rajasthan Royals’ Yuzvendra Chahal (3/11) and Trent Boult (3/22) stifled a struggling Mumbai Indians side and restricted them to 125/9 in their Indian Premier League clash in Mumbai on Monday. Boult struck early with a three-wicket burst inside the powerplay and Chahal made life miserable for rest of the batters in the following overs to return brilliant figures 3/11 in four overs, accounting for Hardik Pandya (34), Tilak Varma (32) and Gerald Coetzee (4).

If Chahal suffocated the MI batters in the middle overs while stopping both Pandya and Varma in their tracks, it was Boult who ran riot in the home side’s top order, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Naman Dhir and Dewald Brevis for ducks.

The tone was set in the first over itself by Boult who rocked the Mumbai Indians twice, including the priced scalp of Rohit who was out for a golden duck.

Looking to get the feel of the ball on his bat perhaps prompted Rohit to go for one which was angled away by Boult, and an outside edge was snaffled splendidly by Rajasthan ‘keeper-skipper Sanju Samson who grabbed it with his right hand putting in a dive.

Dhir (0) was guilty of walking across the wickets and failing to cover Boult’s in-swing, with the ball crashing into his pads. A DRS appeal was eventually burned since the ball tracking showed it would have clipped the leg stump.

Mumbai’s situation worsened when impact player Brevis (0) played one meekly to short third on another delivery angling away from the right-hander off Boult in the third over, with Nandre Burger (2/32) taking a sharp reverse cupped catch.

Ishan Kishan (16) played a few attractive strokes but Burger found an outside edge off the left-hander’s bat with Samson completing another fine grab behind the wickets to keep Mumbai Indians under the pump in the powerplay.

Pandya, who was booed from all parts of the ground here, walked to a similar reception but a brief fightback from him turned the negative noise into cheers.

The Mumbai skipper showed intent when he hit three fours off Burger in the sixth over, but it was Chahal who brought an end to Pandya’s resistance.

Chahal tossed one outside off-stump to make Pandya have a go at it, and the batter obliged with a big swing of the bat but the ball did not travel far enough.

The substitute fielder Rovman Powell read the elevation and speed well to cover a few yards to his right and take a fine diving catch, denying Pandya an opportunity to be a hero for his side.

With PTI inputs

Varma did well on his part but a fine catch at short third man by Ravichandran Ashwin cut short his stay.

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