Cricket - Indians top IPL after win over Royals

The Mumbai Indians went top of the IPL with a 14-run victory over fellow play-off contenders Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Cricket - Hodge launches Royals into IPL semis

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Rajasthan Royals batsman Brad Hodge (AFP)

After the Royals won the toss and put Mumbai into bat, the Indians made an excellent start to their innings, reaching 101-1 in the 12th over.

However they failed to capitalise fully on that platform. Opener Aditya Tare topscored with 59 as they finished with a decent total of 166-8, with James Faulkner and Shane Watson bagging two wickets apiece.

Rajasthan could only reach 152-7 in their 20 overs.

Rahul Dravid (4), Faulkner (12), Sanju Samson (4) and Ajinkya Rahane (4) all lost early wickets and, while Australian stars Brad Hodge (39) and Watson (19) and Indian Stuart Binny (37 not out) cemented the reply, they fell short.

Mumbai are level with Chennai Super Kings on 22 points, with the Royals third on 20 points ahead of the final round of matches.

At the end of the group stage, the top two teams play in a first qualifier, the winners of which go through to the final.

The losers have a second chance of reaching the final against the winners of the eliminator, which pits the third-place team against the one that finishes fourth.

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