Mumbai Indians (MI) gave one of the best death overs exhibitions in the first innings as they exploited 62 runs in the last 3 overs against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), which at one point seemed clearly out of reach, to steer their side to a mammoth total of 191 runs in 20 overs.
Prior to the contest, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma needed merely two runs to get to the landmark of 5000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and while the situation required him to stay onto the crease and accelerate when needed, the Mumbaikar ended up notching his 38th fifty in the mega T20 tournament.
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It wasn’t a great start to the innings for the Mumbai Indians, as being put to bat first, they lost the wickets of Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav in the first four overs. Rohit then forged a 62-run partnership with southpaw Ishan Kishan, who was then dismissed by spinner Krishanppa Gowtham in the 14th over when the scorecard read 83/3.
What followed thereafter was a massacre from the Hitman, who first smashed 21 runs off James Neesham in the 16th over to take his individual tally to 70 off 44 deliveries, with 8 fours and 6 sixes.
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Pacer Mohammed Shami did the honors by getting the wood on Rohit Sharma by bowling a juicy delivery that got him caught by Neesham at long-on.
In the remaining 3 overs when MI was at 129/4, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya unleashed a carnage onto the KXIP bowlers, clobbering 67 runs in their partnership, with Pollard batting at 47* off 20 balls (3 fours, 4 sixes) and Hardik getting his lost touch as he racked 30* off 11 deliveries (3 fours, 2 sixes).
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Not to mention, the duo batted at a strike rate of 230-plus, as they hammered their way to a competive total. From KXIP, the likes of Mohammed Shami (1/36), Ravi Bishnoi (0/37), Krishnappa Gowtham (1/45), and James Neesham (0/52) couldn’t curb the scoring rate in the last ten overs, while Sheldon Cottrell emerged s the top-performer with figures of 4-1-20-1.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to the monstrous hitting put to display by Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard –