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28 February 2024

Captain Rohit rides Mumbai to its first win in IPL

Photo: AP


Skipper Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to its first victory in the Indian Premier League by smashing 94 off 52 balls as the defending champions thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 46 runs on Tuesday.

Mumbai recovered remarkably well to score 213-6 through Rohit and Evin Lewis' equally good 65 off 42 deliveries after the home team lost two wickets off the first two deliveries.

Bangalore, which conceded over 200 runs for the second successive game, was restricted to 167-8. Captain Virat Kohli fought a lone battle and remained unbeaten on 92 off 62 balls, hitting seven fours and four sixes but only three other batsmen could cross double figures.

"This is a perfect game for us, a collective effort from both our departments, plus our fielding," Rohit said. "Yes, we lost the last three games, but we've played some good cricket. It was all about putting a collective performance."

Mumbai had a scare when Ishan Kishan walked off the field with a big bruise close to the right eye after Krunal Pandya's throw from the deep bounced awkwardly and hit the wicketkeeper hard.

Mumbai had a dreadful start when Umesh Yadav (2-36) clean bowled Suryakumar Yadav and Kishan after Kohli won the toss and opted to field first.

Yadav became only the second bowler in the history of the IPL to take two wickets off the first two deliveries of the innings after Praveen Kumar's similar feat against Chennai Super Kings in 2011.

But Lewis and Rohit rebuilt the innings with a brilliant 108-run stand off 66 balls as Bangalore's bowlers bowled too many boundary balls. Lewis hit six fours and five sixes before top edging New Zealand left-armer Corey Anderson (2-47) in the 12th over.

Rohit raised his 34th IPL half century off 32 balls and cut lose in the last five overs with Pandya brothers - Hardik (17) and Krunal (15) - playing little cameos.

Rohit eyed his first century in this year's IPL when he smashed Anderson for two fours and a six in the last over before he holed out at long on while going for his century with a big shot.

Anderson's last over went for 21 runs as Mumbai plundered 70 runs off the last 30 deliveries. Rohit hit 10 fours and five sixes in his knock.

New Zealand seamer Mitchell McClenaghan (2-24) took the steam out of Bangalore's chase when he removed South Africans Quinton de Kock (19) and AB de Villiers (1) in one over.

Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya (3-28) then removed Mandeep Singh and Anderson in the 10th over as Kohli ran out out of his big hitters with only 75 runs on board.

Jasprit Bumrah (2-28) then matched McClenaghan and Pandya when he dismissed Chris Woakes and Yadav in the 18th over as Bangalore lost its third match out of four games.

"We just threw it away, and need to reflect on our dismissals," Kohli said. "Mumbai played well, we didn't get any chances, and when you have your back against the wall - like they did - they could play fearlessly. We tried our hardest but couldn't get the breakthroughs."