After a not-so-impressive start to his Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign in the first match, Mumbai Indian skipper Rohit Sharma came to his usual terms against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.
Sharma smashed 80 runs off 54 balls to help Mumbai Indians post the massive total of 195 on the board at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. In reply, KKR were restricted under 150 by the Mumbai bowlers.
Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.
“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.
The innings, which saw Sharma hitting six maximums, was an exhibition of his trademark pull shot. With the KKR bowlers throwing one short ball after another, the hitman dispatched them over the boundary with ease.
“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians rode on a comprehensive team performance to register their first win of this year’s IPL as they defeated the KKRby 49 runs.
Other than Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary contributed with quickfire 47 and 21 respectively in the middle-order. Yadav and Sharma had stitched a 90-run stand.
Chasing the massive 196-run target, Kolkata lost both their openers — Shubhman Gill (7) and Sunil Narine (9) — within the first five overs with their scorecard reading 25/2. While Trent Boult dismissed Gill, James Pattinson accounted for Narine.
Jasprit Bumrah, who conceded 43 runs in four overs against Chennai Super Kings, made a magnificent comeback and jolted KKR twice in an over. Both Eoin Morgan (16) Andre Russell (11) became the victim of Bumrah in the 16th over.