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Rajasthan Royals down Mumbai Indians to kickstart CLT20 Group Stage

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The Rajasthan Royals kicked off the 2013 edition of the Champions League T20 with a comfortable 7 wicket win over the IPL Champions Mumbai Indians in Jaipur today.

In a game which really failed to excite, Mumbai battled their way to 142-7 from their 20 overs after the Royals made the most of some friendly bowling conditions. Vikramjeet Malik took 3-24 to give the Royals an outstanding start to the game as the Indians slipped to 43-4 in the 9th over with Sachin Tendulkar the third of the early quartet to fall for 15.

A couple of 40s from Rohit Sharma (44) and Kieron Pollard (42) helped Mumbai make a fist of the contest, but the runs largely came at just better than a run a ball, meaning the Royals were almost always in control of the contest. Nathan Coulter-Nile ended the Mumbai innings with a flourish, but a score of 142 was unlikely to be enough as batting got easier in the second half.

Rahul Dravid fell early for 1 to Coulter-Nile, but the Royals got handy contributions from the rest of their top order and were always very much on par with the asking rate. Young wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson top scored for Rajasthan, making a crucial 54 from 47, but was fortunate not to be given leg before when a stonewalled leg before decision failed to given in favour of the unfortunate Mitchell Johnson.

Ajinkya Rahane (33), Shane Watson (27*) and Stuart Binny (27*) all chipped in with runs to see the Royals past the finish line with 2 balls to spare.

The game though was not really as close as the late finish might suggest.

The Mumbai Indians will look to bounce back quickly when they take on a very much in-form Otago Volts side on Monday in Ahmedabad. The Royals meanwhile have a couple of extra days off before they entertain the Lions at Jaipur on Wednesday, September 25.

Mini Scorecard:

Mumbai Indians 142/7 (20 overs, 7.1rpo)

K Pollard 42 (36) V Malik 3-24 (4)

R Sharma 44 (37) S Binny 1-13 (2)

Rajasthan Royals 148/3 (19.4 overs, 7.52rpo)

S Samson 54 (47) R Dhawan 1-17 (4)

A Rahane 33 (31) K Pollard 1-20 (3)

Royals win by 7 wickets