Reigning champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday strolled to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders to record their first ever win in the United Arab Emirates. Chasing a target of 196, KKR were restricted to 146/9 by a clinical MI bowling attack at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
KKR looked to have an outside chance until the 16th over of the match in which Jasprit Bumrah (2/32) dismissed dangermen Andre Russell (11) and Eoin Morgan (16). KKR needed as many as 96 runs from 30 balls at the start of the over, but Russell and Morgan’s reputation for big hits kept the two-time champions’ hopes alive. Bumrah knocked off Russell’s leg stump with the very first ball of the over and then got Morgan to edge the fourth ball to the wicket-keeper.
Bumrah’s number were spoilt by Pat Cummins (33), who hit four sixes in the 18th over that he bowled. He ended with figures of 2/32 while Trent Boult (2/30), James Pattinson (2/25) and Rahul Chahar (2/26) all took two wickets each.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma’s (80) masterful innings and some lacklustre work with the ball and in the field from KKR helped MI post 195/5. Rohit nearly played through the innings for his side, falling to Shivam Mavi (2/32) only in the 18th over. KKR managed to restrict MI in the last two overs after Rohit’s dis- missal, with the four-time champions otherwise looking set to score more than 200 runs for much of the innings.
Rohit’s innings was punctuated by three fours and six sixes as he nearly played through the innings. Like most players in the IPL, he has hardly played any cricket this year due to Covid pandemic. He is, however, coming into the tournament with a longer break than most of his Indian team mates. He has been away from the sport as a calf injury forced him to abandon India’s tour of New Zealand in February.
The UAE had hosted the first half of the IPL 2014, when general elections were held in India, and MI had failed to register a win at the time.
Brief scores: MI 195/5 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 80, Suryakumar Yadav 47; Shivam Mavi 2/32) beat KKR 146/9 in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 33, Dinesh Karthik 30; James Pattin- son 2/25) by 39 runs.