IPL 2018: Rohit Sharma powers Mumbai to first win

The Mumbai skipper hammered 94 off 52 balls to lead the host to its first win of IPL 2018.

Sharma oozed class during his knock on Tuesday night.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Umesh Yadav started the night in the ideal fashion for Royal Challengers Bangalore. And skipper Virat Kohli finished it with a flurry.

What followed in between, at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday, gave the home fans a reason to celebrate. Mumbai Indians opened its account in the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League with a convincing 46-run win against RCB.

If Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had to overhaul a stiff target of 214, the duo of Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers had to repeat the heroics of 2015 at the same venue, when an unbroken 215-run partnership batted Mumbai Indians out of the game.

HOW THEY FARED

 

THE TOP BUY: RCB skipper Virat Kohli, retained for Rs. 17 Crore, hammered a 62-ball 92, albeit in a losing cause.

THE ROOKIE: Eighteen-year-old Washington Sundar had a forgettable outing with the ball. The TN spinner conceded 32 off his two overs.

Despite Kohli remaining not out for a masterful 92 off 62 deliveries, the fate of the match was sealed in the first half. Rohit Sharma, aided by Caribbean opener Evin Lewis, took the game away from the visitor with a stunning opening stand.

That the onslaught – 108 runs off 66 balls – came after Umesh had reduced MI to 0 for 2 in the first two balls of the match made it even more remarkable.

Umesh got rid off  Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - one with movement off the pitch another with deviation in the air - to leave the host reeling. But RCB just couldn't keep the pressure on after that.

Lewis was dismissive of anything bowled short or in his arc while Sharma played an able second fiddle. The 26-year-old brought up his maiden IPL fifty with a towering hit over mid-wicket off leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. He followed it up with successive sixes off Chahal before mistiming a pull off all-rounder Corey Anderson - making his RCB debut - to hand wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock a skier. But the MI captain, who had a meagre 44 from three matches before this, changed gears swiftly to dominate an erratic opposition attack.

Kohli left stranded

With Brendon McCullum making way for Anderson, Kohli opened the innings for the first time this season. He, along with de Kock, set the tone for a mammoth run chase.

But Mitchell McClenaghan tilted the game in MI's favour in the fifth over. He first got the better of dangerous de Kock and three balls later had AB de Villiers holing out to deep square-leg.

The rest of the innings was a mere formality with MI picking wickets at regular intervals with Kohli left stranded at the other end.