IPL desk in Mumbai 12 May 2012 - 08:04pm IST
Report: Match 58 – KKR v MI
Sharma ton helps MI to 27-run win over KKR at Eden Gardens
Requiring 183 to win, KKR needed a quick start. Gautam Gambhir (0) tried to begin in style, but only saw his middle stump being uprooted by a Munaf Patel delivery. Manvinder Bisla (1) was the next to go after top-edging a sweep off a Pragyan Ojha delivery. With two wickets down and just three runs on the board, KKR were in dire straits at the very start of their run-chase.
Manoj Tiwary (27) gave veteran batsman Jacques Kallis decent support in the middle, but his stint was cut short after he was adjudged lbw off a Kieron Pollard in-cutter. It was now up to Kallis and Yusuf Pathan (40*) to see their side home, with the former well-settled at the crease after making a half-century. MI’s bowling, which was led by Lasith Malinga, ensured that KKR never really got the momentum to break the shackles.
With 44 required off the last two overs, MI got their yorkers right and thwarted any chance of a KKR comeback. Kallis (79) perished in the last over as the Knight Riders fell 27 runs short of the MI score.
Earlier, Harbhajan Singh had no hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss. Herschelle Gibbs, who was playing in his first match this season, opened the MI innings with Sachin Tendulkar. The Eden Gardens wicket suited spin bowling and the Knight Riders duly began with the left-arm spin of Shakib Al Hasan. The Bangladeshi spinner couldn’t get the breakthrough in the first over, but he managed to get the big wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (2) in the third over. The MI opener was stumped thanks to some quick glovework by wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla.
Rohit Sharma joined Gibbs at the crease with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. However, the attacking duo got to the business of scoring with notable ease and they stroked the ball around to keep the scorecard ticking. Sharma looked comfortable from the start and showcased his array of attacking strokes to put the home side on the back foot. Both batsmen ensured that the pressure was firmly on KKR. Sharma smashed five sixes and twelve fours on his way to a 60-ball 109, while Gibbs played the supporting role. The South African, although subdued, scored 66* (off 58 balls) to put on a magnificent unbeaten 167-run partnership for the second wicket with Sharma. MI ended up with a commanding total of 182 for one in 20 overs.
Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma for giving MI the edge with a sublime 60-ball 109* (12x4; 5x6)