IPL: Rohit Sharma, Jos Buttler Give Mumbai Indians Their First Win
Mumbai Indians skipper smashed a brilliant 54-ball 84 to guide the team to an easy six wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens.
Gautam Gambhir's Kolkata Knight Riders got off a cautious start. Their first two overs they had good look at the conditions before they exploded in the third over.
It was Mitchell McClenaghan, who provided the first breakthrough as he removed Robin Uthappa in his first over. Uthappa tried to pull one towards the leg side, only to get a top-edge and was caught by Kieron Pollard at cover for 8.
Hardik Pandya was promoted up the order, but failed to impress. The onus was on Manish Pandey to steady the ship and along with skipper Gambhir, the duo put on 100-run stand to put KKR in a strong position.
Gambhir, who looked scratchy, went onto make a half-century off just 39 balls, which included three hits to fence and one six.
It was Harbhajan Singh who broke the century stand as Pandey managed to get a leading edge back to the bowler. Pandey's 29-ball knock included three boundaries and three sixes.
Pandey too brought up his half-century but perished soon after reaching the milestone. Andre Russell then used the long handle to good effect give KKR innings the much-needed momentum. Russell smashed a 17-ball 36.
Mumbai Indians, on the contrary, got off to a promising start in the chase. Rohit Sharma looked impressive from the word go. He announced his intentions with a six off Andre Russell in the opening over itself.
Parthiv Patel, who replaced injured Lendl Simmons, failed to make the most of the opportunity and was run out for 23. Parthiv looked good and was settling in well and had added 50-runs for the opening wicket, before Brad Hogg's brilliance in the field packed off the opener.
Mitchell McClenaghan was given a suprise promotion and played his part to perfection smashing 20 off just eight balls.
Jos Buttler then turned the heat on KKR bowlers, who failed to stop the aggressive batsmen. Buttler brought the run-rate down tremendously and was instrumental in putting on a 66-runs stand for the fourth wicket with Rohit. Buttler, however, fell short before closing the game and was back in the hut for 44.
Rohit Sharma saw the team through along with Kieron Pollard and ensured that team secured a much-needed win in the tournament.