With the legendary Sachin Tendulkar left in awe of his stunning shots and chants of 'Surya! Surya!' resounding through the iconic Wankhede stadium, Suryakumar Yadav once again lit up the Mumbai skyline.
When the opposition, who you've clobbered, come forward and doff their hats, you know you've played an innings to remember. And the player himself agreed when asked if it was his best knock!
SKY has hammered stunning knocks both for his country and his IPL team, but Friday's dazzling knock was arguably one of his best. Following the match-winning performance, when asked, Surya didn't shy away as he said, 'You can say it's one of my best T20 innings!'
With the race for the playoffs heating up, Mumbai Indians clinched an important 27 run win over leaders Gujarat Titans. But it wasn't two teams, but two players who took centre-stage at the Wankhede.
While SKY's ton left everyone reeling, it would be unfair to overlook Rashid Khan's stellar show. Though in vain, Rashid put up a dazzling show with both bat and ball.
He is ranked the No. 1 ranked T20I batter in the cricketing world. And on Friday, May 12, 2023, he once again proved why he holds the top spot. SKY entered the tournament on the back of a lean patch.
Putting up dismal shows for the Indian team and at the early stages of the IPL saw the batter encounter much criticism. But the last seven games have seen him turn his form around.
After being sent into bat at the Wankhede, MI openers handed the hosts a strong start. Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan were off to a flier before Rashid Khan removed both in the same over.
Thereon began the fireworks. Surya, who had hammered his highest IPL score in just the previous match, bettered his show.
Striking at a sizzling strike rate of 210.20, SKY hammered an unbeaten 49 ball 103. His innings was laced with six sixes and eleven boundaries.
Once again, he looked to be hammering everything that was thrown at him. At one stage, Mohammed Shami was left looking aghast as he seemed to be asking SKY what he was up to. Shami had a clueless grin on his face as Sky hammered him around the park.
- Cheered on by MI Mentor Sachin Tendulkar himself, SKY hammered Mumbai Indians's first century by an Indian batter after SRT's ton way back in 2011.
- This was the first ton for MI after Lendl Simmons struck a ton against Punjab Kings in 2014.
- SKY's knock is the highest IPL score by an Indian batter at the Wankhede.
- It was SKY's first IPL century.
He brought up his ton in a scripted manner.
The stage was set. He was just one hit away from his maiden IPL century. Facing Alzarri Joseph on the final ball of MI's innings, he hammered the West Indian fast bowler for a six to take MI to 218 and bring up his 100 in style.
As he celebrated the historic knock, Shami, who was battered around the park by his Indian team-mate, ran up to congratulate him. Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan and other GT players all came in the hail SKY's dazzling ton.
His team gave him a standing ovation as he walked off with his bat raised.
Then came in the Amazing Afghan.
In the first innings, Rashid returned with a four wicket haul -- 4/30 in his four-over spell, which had ten dot balls.
Rashid's wicket haul included Rohit Sharma (29 off 18), Ishan Kishan (31 off 20), Nehal Wadhera (15 off 7) and Tim David (5 off 3).
After his dazzling spell with the ball, Rashid top scored with the bat for the Titans.
With a tough task on the board, the Titans got off to a rocky start as they were reduced to 55/5 in 7.1 overs. MI looked set to finish the game early, with the defending champions tottering at 103/8 in 13.2 overs.
Thereon, the Titans chase completely changed mode. Though it was too late, it was an innings to remember. Striking at an explosive strike rate of 246.87, Rashid hammered a 32-ball 79. Along with Alzarri Joseph, he put up a sizzling 88 off 40 for the ninth wicket. With Joseph remaining unbeaten on just 7 off 12, it was Rashid who frustrated the MI bowlers.
Skipper Rohit Sharma looked frustrated as the hosts would have wanted to grab this opportunity to boost their net run-rate. But Rashid had other plans as he hammered his highest T20 score.
Slamming his maiden IPL half-century and his highest IPL score, Rashid took GT to 191/8 from 103/8.
Rashid became the first GT player to take four wickets and hammer a half-century. The Afghan star's innings. which took his T20 runs past 2000, was the highest score by a No. 8 batter in the IPL.
As skipper GT Hardik said, 'Rashid was the only player to turn up for us tonight.'
All in all, the MI vs GT contest was a record-breaking one, with two outstanding performances.