Rohit Sharma’s power-packed 94 helped Mumbai Indians end their 3-match losing streak in VIVO IPL 2018. Courtesy their captain’s knock, the defending champions posted a formidable 213-6, after which the MI bowlers restricted the visiting Royal Challengers Bangalore to 167-8 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday night. MI emerged victors by 46 runs and got their first points of the season.
MI, put in to bat, got off to a disastrous start losing wickets off the first two balls of the match. Umesh Yadav’s first-ball inswinger cut through Suryakumar Yadav and hit the middle stump behind him; the following delivery, Yadav castled Ishan Kishan with an inswinger. MI recovered from that poor start through a 108-run partnership between Evin Lewis and Rohit. After Lewis’ dismissal, Rohit was involved in small partnerships with the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard. Rohit himself was dismissed for 94 off the penultimate ball of the innings. MI made 60-2 in the powerplay overs, added 83 for the loss of one wicket in the middle period, and added a further 70 runs in the final five overs.
RCB, facing a stiff target, never really got a footing in the run-chase. Captain Virat Kohli, who held his end up and waged a lone battle, saw his team off to a brisk start in the company of Quinton de Kock. But after the South African wicketkeeper-batsman was cleaned up by Mitchell McClenaghan, RCB began to slip, losing wickets regularly. From 40-0, they slipped to 86-5, and thereafter to 137-8, eventually batting out their twenty overs to finish at 167-8. Kohli remained unbeaten on 92, made from 62 balls; his innings wasstudded with seven fours and four sixes.
Standout batting performances
There has been a lot of debate if Rohit Sharma should open the innings or bat at number three. In this particular contest, the MI captain decided to bat at number four; yet, when he walked out to bat, it was still the first over and MI were yet to score a run in the match.
Rohit started slowly, though he played a couple of delightful drives through the off-side in the first few overs. That go-slow approach should have already sounded out the alarms in the oppositions dressing room, for when he does that, he often converts it to a big score. The MI captain was 14 from 13 at the end of seven overs, when he exploded; he played an array of strokes – cuts, drives and pulls, and deposited several deliveries deep into the stands.
Rohit was extremely harsh on the left-arm pacer Corey Anderson, off who he scored 39 runs off 19 deliveries. The Kiwi pacer had the final say though; when he was one stroke away from a three-figure score, Rohit creamed a length delivery, but found the fielder patrolling the long-on boundary.
Notable Support Act - Batting
Evin Lewis was the aggressor in the third-wicket partnership that put MI back on track. The Trinidadian smashed the leather off RCB bowlers, hitting a total of 6 fours and 5 sixes in his 42-ball 65. The left-hander took the foot off the accelerator for just a brief while when the field restrictions were relaxed, but he then hit the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for three big sixes. He brought up his half-century off 32 balls, and carried on to make 65 before he became Corey Anderson’s first victim of the match in the twelfth over.
Standout bowling performance
Umesh Yadav had a dream start to the match, but finished with figures of 2-36 from his four overs. Corey Anderson (2-47) and Chris Woakes (1-31) were RCB’s other wicket-takers.
Mitchell McClenaghan gave MI their first breakthrough, and then added to his tally the wicket of AB de Villiers, to eventually finish with figures of 3-0-24-2. Krunal Pandya had an excellent outing with the ball, returning figures of 4-0-28-3, while the young leg-spinner Mayank Markande added one more to his tally of wickets, finishing with impressive figures of 4-0-25-1.
Stat of the Match
During the course of his 92 not out, Virat Kohli surpassed Suresh Raina’s tally of 4558 runs to become the highest run-getter in the IPL.
This match was the first time in the history of the IPL that rival captains had made scores of 90s in the same match; Rohit Sharma made 94 and Virat Kohli made 92 not out.
Mumbai Indians 213-6 (Rohit Sharma 94, Evin Lewis 65, Umesh Yadav 2-36) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (Virat Kohli 92*, Krunal Pandya 3-28, Mitchell McClenaghan2-24) by 46 runs.
Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma, for his 52-ball 94, which included 10 fours & 5 sixes.