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Top performer: Impeccable Rohit gives MI momentum

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
October 02, 2020 08:51 IST
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Rohit Sharma en route his beautiful innings of 70 off 45 balls against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma en route to his beautiful innings of 70 off 45 balls against the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, Ocober 1. Photograph: BCCI
 

Mumbai Indians put on a solid performance in Abu Dhabi to outplay Kings XI Punjab but not before some immaculate batting from the Hit-Man himself.

MI Captain Rohit Sharma led from the front as he batted with flair.

Opening the batting with Quinton de Kock, Rohit started his innings with a first-ball boundary -- he smashed the ball through the cover region to get off the mark with a boundary and bring up 5,000 IPL runs.

That shot was indicative of what was to come. He survived an LBW appeal thanks to DRS early in his innings and he ploughed on, finding the gaps and picking the singles and twos, most of them tight runs.

He then got into the groove from the sixth over where he took on spinner K Gowtham for a couple of fours -- both pleasing to the eye. Nothing forceful, just pure timing, caressing the ball to the boundaries.

Even after Mumbai lost two quick wickets and Ishan Kishan failing to get into any sort of rhythm, Rohit went about his business, collecting runs while punishing the bad balls.

Rohit came into his own once Pollard walked in to bat -- first smoking Ravi Bishnoi for a maximum in the 15th over before stepping on the gas.

He hit top gear in the 16th over, taking Jimmy Neesham to the cleaners. Rohit played the field and hit the New Zealander for consecutive fours and two huge sixes to take 22 runs in the over.

Ro was eventually dismissed for 70 off 45 balls in the next over by Mohammed Shami after a trans-Tasman relay catch (Glen Maxwell to Neesham) at the boundary.

MI eventually rode on his innings, that was accessorised with 8 fours and 3 sixes, to go further as Pollard and Hardik Pandya propped them to 191 for 4.

It was always going to be huge ask for Kings XI as they eventually fell short by 48 runs.

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