Cricinfo: Indian Premier League 2008
Cricinfo



27th match: Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals at Mumbai - May 7, 2008

Nehra stars in Mumbai hat-trick

Nehra

Ashish Nehra showed that his impressive performance against the Delhi Daredevils was no one-off by leading the charge against the Rajasthan Royals. He made most use of a sluggish surface, one where the ball stopped on the batsmen and varied his length to help Mumbai bowl out Rajasthan for the lowest first-innings score of the tournament.

He began with the wicket of Yusuf Pathan with one that kept a tad low but the batsman's ugly swipe across the line might have done him in anyway. The dismissal exemplified Nehra's approach: straight, canny and waiting for the batsmen to make the mistakes.

A tidy first spell produced no further wickets but he returned to mop up the tail efficiently. Sohail Tanvir had no answer to one that was full and straight - another swipe across the line ended in the batsmen seeing his stumps rattled. His final wicket was off a slow bouncer - Mahesh Rawat deceived by one that held up and letting out a weak jab that ended up taking the ball straight to the keeper.

A three-wicket haul wouldn't have merited a match-winning performance on another day but Nehra's effort here helped Mumbai bowl out Rajasthan for the lowest first-innings score of the competition. His team-mates fed off his accuracy, turning in the kind of effort you wouldn't have expected after their four successive defeats early on. What will be even more heartening for them is the emergence of youngsters like Dhaval Kulkarni and Rohan Raje, who can be counted to pick up the baton when the likes of Nehra are done with their spells.


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