Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians were on the six-match losing streak in matches played in UAE. Before losing to Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2020 opener, MI has also lost all five outings they had played in UAE in 2014, when all franchises played their first five matches in UAE.
Kolkata Knight Riders were the last team to play open their account at IPL 2020. Winning the toss and sending MI to bat, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock were the openers. Despite Chris Lynn in the squad, MI’s head coach Mahela Jayawardena had earlier said there is no need to change the opening combination.
Rohit Sharma and bowlers combined to end an unwanted record for Mumbai Indians. The franchise six-match losing streak ended as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 49 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders Innings
With the dew factor, teams are opting to bat second in the tournament. Chasing 195, you need your openers to give you a good, quick, and wicketless start. KKR were failed to achieve any of the three.
Losing Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine early in the innings, Trent Boult and James Pattinson once again gave MI a perfect start pegging the score to 25-2 in 4.5 overs. Captain Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana slowly hold the wobbled innings but consumed too many balls for their 46-run partnership considering the target.
Having Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell in the team is a killer-combination for every team but chasing 119 in 8.2 overs is a pretty big task.
Two destructive batters on the crease, who would you expect Sharma would throw the ball. Jasprit Bumrah. Its Jasprit Bumrah who has bowled his first two overs for just three runs. 15.1, boom. Its timbers. Andre Russell is bowled and hopes of winning the match faded. 15.4, slower ball, Eoin Morgan caught behind, hopes of winning the match ended.
The strike-bowler had figures of two wickets for five runs in three overs. The game is already over with Bumrah playing the last role.
After that, it was just the matter a time.
The surprise factor was the 18th over. Bumrah is bowling to Pat Cummins. What would you expect? Probably another wicket or just four-five runs over. But, surprise. Bumrah has been smashed for 27 runs in the over that include four maximums by Cummins. But it was all too late for KKR.
KKR innings ended on 146-9.
Boult, Pattinson, Bumrah, and Rahul Chahar all picked two wickets each. Kieron Pollard picked one wicket.
Mumbai Indians Innings – Rohit’s 80 runs off 54 balls
Earlier, the 21-year old Shivam Dube struck in his first over when he got de Kock. Accompanying Sharma, came out Suryakumar Yadav and they went on to add 90 runs for the 2nd-wicket. Things were all set for another big total but Yadav was run out on 47 runs off 28 balls at a 167 strike-rate. Hitman continued to do what he does best. His effort-less six making ability had made him hit six sixes in his innings of 80 runs. He got out in the 18th over.
Little cameos in the end from Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, and Kieron Pollard took the score to 195, the second-highest 1st innings score in the competition so far.
Shivam Mavi was impressive for his two wickets including that of Rohit Sharma. Sunil Narine was the only bowler with an economy of under 6 for his one wicket. Kuldeep Yadav, who had a disappointing 2019 season, started his season on a low note. He conceded 39 runs in his four overs with no wickets.
There were a couple of personal achievements for two MI players. First, Kieron Pollard played his 150th match in the IPL, and later on, Rohit Sharma completes his 200 sixes in IPL becoming only the 4th man after Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and MS Dhoni.
In the post-match presentation, Dinesh Karthik said, “Pretty rusty day to be honest. Don’t want to be too analytical about it. The boys know where they need to get better. Pat Cummins and Morgan just finished their quarantine today. So, it is not easy to come in and play in this heat.”
Effortless, six-studded innings of 80 runs off 54 balls was enough for Rohit Sharma to be awarded the man of the match award.
Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma
Result: Mumbai Indians win by 49 runs
Points: Mumbai Indians 2, Kolkata Knight Riders 0