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Tuesday, Nov 30th

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The 2013 season of the Indian Premier League continues to shock and awe as the Rajasthan Royals continued to protect their proud home record at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur by decimating the visiting Mumbai Indians in a virtual no contest.

Batting first on winning the toss, the Royals posted an excellent 179-3 from their 20 overs with Ajinkya Rahane dropping anchor at one end and batting through the innings for the second straight game. Rahane ended unbeaten on 68 from 54 balls, while the rest of the batsmen threw their bats around from the other end to keep the Royals on the rampage.

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Mumbai Indians improved their record against the Pune Warriors on the back of yet another spirited display of batting that saw them pick up their third win from the four games they have played thus far in IPL 2013. The Pune batsmen struggled to build partnerships as Mitchell Johnson's spell was good enough to hand out Pune a rankling 41 run defeat.

Mumbai skipper Ricky Ponting won the flip of the coin and elected to bat on a good sporting wicket. The opening duo of Ponting and Tendulkar made a promising start to the Mumbai innings putting up a brisk 54 run first wicket stand from 7 overs before Yuvraj got the much needed breathrough sending back Ponting (14) with his first ball of the evening. Tendulkar followed his captain in the next over after a strokeful innings of 44.

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tendulkar_iplThe Sydney Sixers, without their one true superstar Shane Watson, won the toss and elected to make first use of a two paced wicket at Kingsmead, Durban. A patchy batting effort which was built around a workmanlike 41 from Steve Smith and included some run rate boosting cameos up and down the order allowed the Sixers to post an underpar 136-7 in their 20 overs. Mumbai, while perpetually behind the asking rate, had the game very much within their grasp at 88-3 heading into the last 5 overs, but lost 5 wickets for 15 runs in the next 4 overs to knock themselves out of the contest. It was a very professional performance from the Sixers, who showed that despite the absence of Watto, they are very much a force to be reckoned with heading into the semi-finals. 

The Sixers got off to a good start with Michael Lumb racing away to 28 from just 22 balls before falling to Lasith Malinga, but not before doing some damage to the Mumbai spearhead's bowling figures. At the other end, Peter Nevill had been largely deprived of the strike, but he and skipper Brad Haddin fell for 5 and 0 respectively in one Munaf Patel over. The former Indian pace bowler celebrated his return to the Mumbai side with excellent figures of 2-17.

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The Highveld Lions crushed the Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets in Johannesburg on Sunday evening to get their Champions League T20 campaign off to a great start. The home side made perfect use of familiar conditions, restricting the Mumbai Indians to an under par 157-6 with none of the Mumbai batsmen managing to get past 30. Dirk Nannes and Aaron Phangiso were particularly impressive taking 2-32 from the 8 overs they bowled between them. Despite a slow start, the Lions made easy work of the target, largely due to an unbeaten 121 run stand between two batsmen at opposite ends of their cricket careers as veteran Neil Mackenzie (68* from 41 balls) and Quinton de Kock (51* from 33 balls) led them to an excellent win. 

The Highveld Lions won the toss and slightly surprisingly opted to put the Mumbai Indians in, despite the result in the previous game favouring the side batting first. Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith opened the batting for Mumbai, and raced to 32 inside 3 overs, helped largely by some wayward bowling by an over excited Lions bowling unit guilty of going for a bit too much.

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