Johan Botha produced an all-round show to enable Rajasthan Royals inflict a seven wicket defeat on table toppers Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match on Friday.
After spinning a web around the Mumbai batsmen with impressive figures of three for six, Botha sparkled with the bat as well, scoring vital 44 runs off 39 balls, during which he struck two fours and a six, to set the platform for Rajasthan’s victory.
Chasing a paltry 95-run target, Rajasthan batsmen played sensibly to overwhelm Mumbai’s score with 11 balls to spare at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
Apart from Botha, Shane Watson (26 off 32) and Ross Taylor (13 not out) made double digit scores while Munaf Patel (2/18) emerged as the best bowler for the visitors.
Earlier, Rajasthan came up with an inspiring bowling display to restrict a formidable Mumbai Indians to a paltry 94 for eight.
Opting to field, Rajasthan bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals as the star-studded Mumbai batting line-up fumbled under pressure to slump to their lowest total in the tournament. Incidentally, it also the lowest total at this ground.
Only four Mumbai batsmen reached double figures but none could cross the 20-run mark with Andrew Symonds being the top-scorer with 17 followed by Davy Jacobs (15).
With figures of 3/6, Botha was the pick of Rajasthan bowlers while the duo of Maneria (2/20) and Amit Singh (2/14) scalped two wickets each.
Rajasthan began their chase on a cautious note with Watson and Rahul Dravid putting on 17 runs for the first wicket in 4.3 overs before the latter scooped a Patel slower delivery straight to Tendulkar at midwicket.
Watson and Botha then took Rajasthan past the 50-run mark, stitching 39 off 43 balls for the second wicket.
But just when it seemed the duo will run away with the match, Watson edged a Lasith Malinga short ball to Jacobs behind the wicket.
Botha, however, was unlucky to have missed out on a half century as he was bowled by Patel just five runs short of the target.
But that was all Mumbai bowlers could manage on the day as new man Maneria and Taylor completed the formalities for the home team without any further damage.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians witnessed a horrible start to their innings, losing both their openers – Jacobs and Sachin Tendulkar – inside the first five overs after being sent into bat.
Jacobs scored a run-a-ball 15 before Singh went through his defence and castled the middle stump.
An over later, Mumbai were dealt with a bigger jolt when Tendulkar departed, stumped by an agile Dishant Yagnik after being outsmarted by a witty Maneria delivery to see the visitors in a spot of bother at 22 for two.
To make matters worse for Mumbai, two more wickets – Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma – were also dismissed in a span of six overs to see Mumbai in serious trouble at 50 for four at the half-way mark of their innings.
While Rayudu gave a straight forward caught and bowl chance to Maneria in the ninth over, Sharma was holed out at long-off boundary by Johan Botha off Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne in the next.
After the early wickets, Mumbai found runs difficult to come by and even Andrew Symonds and big-hitting Keiron Pollard struggled to break loose as Rajasthan bowlers tightened the noose around their opponents.
Pollard’s struggle finally came to an end when Botha got him out lbw with the West Indian making a miserable 4 off 15 balls, which surely was against his reputation.
Symonds too failed to make much of an impact as Botha accounted for two wickets in the 18th over to dig the final nail in Mumbai’s coffin.
The South African off-spinner first cleaned up Symonds and then a ball later gave Yagnik his second stumping of the day as he outwitted R Sathish.
Harbhajan Singh finished off the Mumbai innings in style with a six over deep mid-wicket of Shane Watson.