This was MI’s first win in the United Arab Emirates after six defeats since the 2014 IPL edition.
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There’s something about Kolkata that seems to charge up Rohit Sharma. Be it the Eden Gardens in Kolkata or the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the MI skipper’s love affair with KKR continued as his majestic 80 (54b, 3×4, 6×6) helped his side put up 195 for five.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav laid the foundation for a big innings adding 90 runs for the second wicket after KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik put the rivals in on winning the toss.
Although the MI middle order failed to capitalize on that good start, their bowlers did well to keep it tight from the word go and restrict the rivals to 146 for nine.
Hitman is adjudged the Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of 80 off 54 deliveries.#Dream11IPL #KKRvMI https://t.co/nwReQGCc9o
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 1600886097000
None of the KKR batsmen could get going and their only hope faded when Jasprit Bumrah clean bowled Andre Russell for 11 only.
The pacer made a great comeback after going for 43 runs in the last match, finishing with two for 32.
On the contrary, KKR’s most experienced bowler Pat Cummins’ giving away 49 runs in his three overs made a big difference to the final outcome.
Rohit, who did not get his timings right against CSK in the first match of this IPL, still looked slow in running between the wicket, but showed glimpses of his old self as he almost single-handedly took MI to a position of strength.
The opener on Wednesday also became only the second Indian after MS Dhoni to hit 200 sixes in IPL.
Had it not been for KKR’s spin duo of Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, MI might have ended up getting much more on the board.
The right and left-hand combination kept it tight in the middle overs when Rohit and Surayakumar were breaking free.
Narine, who claimed six wickets in the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL), ended up taking one wicket for 22 runs from his four overs while Kuldeep went wicketless conceding 39 runs.
The former Knight Suryakumar gave Rohit good support playing a 28-ball 47-run innings before being run out rather unnecessarily.
Rohit continued to play his shots but being out of action for long, tiredness ultimately got the better of him as he perished to Mavi failing to clear the long-on boundary and was caught by Cummins.
But once again MI’s big guns Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard failed to set the stage on fire. While the former was out hit-wicket in a rather peculiar fashion playing too deep inside the crease, the big West Indian managed just 13 runs off seven balls that he faced.