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IPL 9: Rohit Sharma scripts MI win over KKR at 'favourite' Eden Gardens

Rohit Sharma's romance with Eden Gardens continues with a classy 84 as Mumbai Indians crush Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets

Kolkata: Mumbai Indians, humbled at home in the IPL-9 opener on Saturday, bounced back to tame a Kolkata Knight Riders in their backyard. 

Chasing 188, skipper Rohit Sharma hung around to see the visitors over the line even as Jos Buttler’s power-hitting ensured they got there with six wickets and five balls to spare.

Rohit Sharma

MI skipper Rohit Sharma en route his 54-ball 84 against KKR during an IPL match at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Pics/AFP

Buttler came away with a 22-ball 41 that had three boundaries and three sixes. After the Englishman fell in the 19th over, Rohit was still around to lend the finishing touches.

His unbeaten 84 came off 54 balls and had 10 boundaries and a couple of sixes. 

The Knights, having drubbed Delhi Daredevils on Sunday, leave for their six-match away phase on the wrong note. 
Sent into bat, KKR rode a 100-run partnership for the second wicket between skipper Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey. 

Pandey scored 52 in 29 deliveries with three boundaries and three sixes. Gambhir, dropped on 30 by skipper Rohit and on 55 by Bumrah off his own bowling, was finally caught off behind off a looping shot for a 52-ball 64 that had four fours and a six. Andre Russell chipped in with a 36 off 17 that had four sixes. 

Rohit, at his happy hunting ground, wore an ominous calm as he paced his innings well, happy to play the second fiddle to some of his more aggressive teammates. He flicked Russell off the pads for a six in the first over to launch the chase and then watched Parthiv Patel, one of the three replacements in the line-up, become the aggresssor. 

Taking that extra risk to play over the infield, Patel made the most of the power-play but Rohit was not too far behind, two flowing fours off John Hastings in the fifth over underlying the threat he always is. 
The two added 53 in 35 deliveries before the partnerships was broken when Patel failed to regain crease after setting off for a non-existent single.

Rohit was joined by his India teammate Hardik Pandya and the two kept 

Mitchell McClenaghan used the long handle to good effect as he hit 20 off eight deliveries with the help of three sixes to ensure that Mumbai Indians stayed in the chase. McClenaghan’s fall saw Buttler joining Rohit.

Earlier, half centuries from skipper Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey lifted Kolkata Knight Riders to 187 for five against Mumbai Indians.

Gambhir led by example with 64 from 52 balls (4x4, 1x6) and the skipper got fine support from talented youngster Pandey, who scored a rollicking 52 from 29 balls, to get the momentum going with a 100-run partnership from just 60 balls at Eden Gardens.

After Pandey's departure, Andre Russell played a nice cameo, scoring 36 from 17 balls, which was studded with four sixes and one four as KKR, at 163/2 in 17 overs, looked on course for a 200-plus total. But the Knights could manage just 24 runs and lost three wickets in last three overs as MI pulled things back.

It was the Mumbai Indians fielding that severely let them down as Gambhir got reprieves twice, on 30 and 55, and their bowling struggled to give breakthroughs.

On a pitch that looked perfect for batting, Mumbai Indians put Kolkata Knight Riders who were off to a watchful start with six runs from two overs, but the opening pair of Gambhir and Uthappa quickly changed gear smashing Tim Southee for 13 runs in the third over.

McClenaghan gave the breakthrough in the next over with Uthappa (8) mistiming one to be easily taken by Kieron Pollard, but Mumbai Indians could not pull back from there on with some ordinary bowling down the leg. 

Gambhir smashed Southee for successive boundaries in the next over and Pandey also got into the act picking up length eaisly and displaying some exquisite stroke-making.

Nothing going in their way, Gambhir was dropped on 30 by Rohit Sharma with the ball going through the skipper's hands in Jagadeesha Suchith's first over and KKR never looked back.

MI's spin duo of Suchith and Harbhajan Singh struggled to get their act together and sloppy fielding only aided the home side as Pandey smashed some big sixes.

Pandey raced to his half century in 26 balls, while Gambhir was a little slower notching the mark in 39 balls as he also got a second reprieve when Jasprit Bumrah dropped him on 55 off his own bowling, putting down a regulation catch.

Earlier Mumbai Indians made three changes to their XI that lost by nine wickets to debutants Pune Supergiants by
bringing in Tim Southee, J Suchith and Parthiv Patel in place of Lendl Simmons, R Vinay Kumar and Shreyas Gopal.

Kolkata Knight Riders opted to give Sunil Narine rest after joining the team last night as they picked Kuldeep Yadav in place of Umesh Yadav, making it a three-spin line-up with Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla. 

Brief Scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 187-5 (Gautam Gambhir 64, Manish Pandey 52, Andre Russell 36; Mitchell McClenaghan 2-25) lose to Mumbai Indians 188-4 in 19.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 84 n o, Jos Buttler 41) by six wickets

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