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Turning Point: MI's Opening Stand

April 17, 2023 08:10 IST
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IMAGE: Mumbai Indians Openers Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

It turned out to be a contest between two strong batting teams in IPL 2023 as the Mumbai Indians overpowered the Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets on a flat pitch at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, April 16, 2023.

Venkatesh Iyer's maiden IPL century (104 from 51 balls) had powered KKR to a healthy 185/6 in their 20 overs.

Mumbai, who started the IPL with two losses in a row, knew they had a challenge on their hand even though the wicket had hardly anything for the bowlers.

They made possibly the best use of the Impact Player rule. Regular Captain Rohit Sharma could not take the field while KKR were batting due to a stomach bug so Mumbai brought him during their run chase in place of pace Riley Meredith to have a go at the KKR bowlers in the Powerplay.

IMAGE: Ishan Kishan hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

Umesh Yadav made a tidy start by conceding two runs from the first over before the floodgates opened.

Ishan Kishan hammered Shardul Thakur for two fours and a six to get 16 runs from the second over.

Rohit, who made two from the first six balls faced, then cut loose as he hammered Umesh over cover for a six. Kishan then smashed the pacer for a four and a six.

Sunil Narine, brought early into the attack, was not allowed to settle. Rohit cut the spinner's first ball for a four before Kishan hit the West Indian for two sixes and a four from the last three balls of the over.

22 runs came off Narine's first over as MI raced past 50 in just 23 balls.

IMAGE: MI's Impact Player Rohit Sharma on the attack. Photograph: BCCI

Rohit welcomed leg-spinner Suyash Sharma with a six over square off the first ball of the fifth over but perished in the same over, with Umesh taking a brilliant diving catch at mid-off.

Rohit fell for 20 from 13 balls, taking his tally to 1,040 runs against KKR in the IPL -- the most by a player against an opponent in the T20 league.

The Rohit-Kishan stand had taken KKR apart in the Powerplay as they posted 65 runs for the opening wicket from just 29 balls.

Kishan continued his attack as he brought up his fifty from just 21 balls, before he was bowled off an inside edge off Varun Chakrvarthy after an entertaining 58 from 25 balls.

The MI openers's attack allowed Suryakumar Kumar time to get himself back into form as he hit 43 from 25 balls while Tilak Varma consoldidated the good start with a good knock of 30 from 25 balls.

Tim David hit an unbeaten 24 from 13 balls to take MI past the finishing line with 14 balls to spare.

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