Rohit Sharma led from the front with a sparkling 84 not out as an inspired Mumbai Indians cruised to a six-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders to open their account in the ninth season of Indian Premier League in Kolkata, on Wednesday.
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Manish Pandey lamented that his side should have posted at least 200 after a rousing start given by their top-order batsmen as they lost to defending champions Mumbai Indians by six wickets in their Indian Premier League match.
1. "With the way we started, probably we should have got 200. At least myself, Gautibhai (Gautam Gambhir) or Russell should have stayed till the end," Pandey who scored an impressive 52 from 29 balls said.
"In the middle overs we were thinking 200, that's what we were discussing. After I got out Russell had a decent partnership with the captain. There was a stage when there were new batsmen at both the ends. It's not easy for any team to have two new batsmen on the crease and go for it. That's what we lacked a bit," he said.
Kolkata Knight Riders were cruising at 163/2 after 17 overs with half centuries from skipper Gambhir (64 from 52 balls) and Pandey (52 from 29 balls) while Russell had a cameo of 17-ball 36.
But Mumbai Indians pulled back with KKR losing the wickets of Russell, Gambhir and Colin Munro in the last three overs to restrict them to 187/5, a target which the visitors got past in 19.1 overs with captain Rohit Sharma knocking down an unbeaten 84 from 54 balls.
"Batting first you don't know exactly how many runs you need. On any given day, if you score 180-plus batting first you normally think you would win the game. For any team, it's a good total," Pandey said.
2. "The wicket became a little better and it gave a little bit of advantage. I think that's what Mumbai capitalised on. Now we lost the game we might think we're 20 runs short. Overall it's a good effort by our team.”
3. "We were banking on our bowlers as we have a good spin attack and some decent fast bowling. But on odd days, you just end up losing such games. You've to learn from this and we would do better."
4. KKR's ace spinner Sunil Narine was rested as he had joined the team just the night before the match, Pandey said.
"He just came last night, it was a long flight for him. It was good for us to give him a bit of rest. I thought he was not ready because he was travelling."