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Pandya gets booed again as Rajasthan hand Mumbai third loss in a row

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Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by six wickets to register their third consecutive win in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

Pandya had another unforgettable evening after he met with boos at the toss by the home fans, prompting presenter Sanjay Manjrekar to say “behave”. Five-time winners Mumbai, who named Hardik Pandya as captain in place of veteran Rohit Sharma, fell to their third loss to stay bottom of the 10-team table.

Opting to bowl first, Rajasthan Royals stopped Mumbai Indians at 125 for nine and then chased down the target with 27 balls to spare.

The in-form Riyan Parag again played well to remain not out on 54 off 39 balls. Pace bowler Trent Boult returned figures of 3-22 to set up a crushing six-wicket victory for Rajasthan.

“Yes, a tough night, we didn’t start the way we wanted to start,” Pandya said after the loss.

Parag hammered an unbeaten 54 off 39 balls for his second successive fifty as he steered the team to victory with two sixes and a four.

Rajasthan bowlers ruled with Boult’s lethal opening burst giving way to Yuzvendra Chahal’s 3-11 with his leg-spin.

Boult claimed three wickets including Rohit in the space of four deliveries across his first two overs to silence the home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium.

Rohit, Naman Dhir and Brevis, all three got out for a first-ball duck and another wicket by left-arm quick Nandre Burger made Mumbai slip to 20-4 inside four overs.

Pandya under fire from Rohit fans

Hardik Pandya has been facing the wrath of jeering fans in the IPL this season, with the Mumbai Indians struggling since he took charge from Rohit Sharma.

Five-time winners Mumbai replaced Rohit, who leads India in all formats, as captain before the IPL season started last month after the India allrounder Pandya returned from Gujarat.

Pandya has been booed incessantly as his side slumped to three consecutive defeats, the latest at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

After being traded from Gujarat back to Mumbai for $1.8 million, his immediate elevation as captain went down badly with the Rohit fans.

Rohit, 36, has led the team to five IPL titles since taking over from Australia’s Ricky Ponting in 2013.

Mumbai’s winless record with Pandya as captain this season has worsened the situation for him even though Mumbai has in the past made great comebacks after worse starts.

Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle drew a comparison with football. “What is happening with the IPL…is that the ‘clannishness’ has grown,” Bhogle told Indian website Cricbuzz.

“The more the rivalries are built up, the more people have something in it.”

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who plays for Rajasthan, said the fans needed to cool down. “People should remember which country these players represent — it’s our country,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

(AFP)

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