Abu Dhabi: Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.
Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.
It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible.
We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down, said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.
As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.
I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight, he said.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik said that rustiness was the reason behind the defeat.
I think we had areas to do well with bat and ball. I think it was a pretty rusty day to be honest, I don’t want to get too analytical about it but it’s ok the boys realise where they could have done better, said Karthik on Star Sports at the end of the match.
The match was played in hot and humid conditions in Abu Dhabi which was a change for a number of key foreign players in the KKR squad like Andre Russell, Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan.
Couple of guys — (Pat) Cummins and (Eoin) Morgan — just finished their quarantine today. It is hard — playing in the heat and getting used to the conditions. Don’t want to be too analytical, the boys put in a good effort.
I haven’t had the conversation about that (regarding tweaking the top order) with Baz (coach Brendon McCullum), will let you know by the next game, said Karthik.