Royals too strong for Mumbai in CLT20 opener

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A cool, calm and collected half-century from Sanju Samson and Shane Watson's quickfire cameo pushed the Rajasthan Royals to a solid seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians.

A cool, calm and collected half-century from Sanju Samson and Shane Watson's quickfire cameo pushed the Rajasthan Royals to a solid seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians.

Saturday's result maintained the Royals' unbeaten streak at the the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, and set a fitting precedent for the remainder of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20.

Host skipper Rahul Dravid's choice to bowl first on a seam-friendly pitch lined with grass, as right-armer Vikramjeet Malik secured telling figures of three for 24 in a final Mumbai total of 142 for seven.

The visitors enjoyed flourishes from captain Rohit Sharma and West Indian recruit Kieron Pollard, who scored 44 and 42 respectively, but no other innings of significance ultimately took its toll.

While Dravid fell early, opener Ajinkya Rahane and Samson shared a brisk 74-run alliance to commence a strong response. Samson's 54, however, would have read considerably smaller – had umpire Bruce Oxenford not denied a rightful appeal for a plumb lbw decision from fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Watson and all-rounder Stuart Binny were later at hand for a cavalier 27 not out each. The Australian was particularly aggressive, competing – and beating – a pressing asking rate with twin sixes. The Royals, indeed, won with two delivers to spare.

Malik was named Man of the Match. Sunday's fixtures will see Trinidad and Tobago meet the Brisbane Heat at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi and the Chennai Super Kings clash with the Titans at the same venue.

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