Mumbai Indians have finally opened their accounts in the ongoing Indian Premier League season with a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. Seasoned Suryakumar Yadav and young Tilak Varma gave the best 35th birthday present to their skipper Rohit Sharma when Mumbai Indians finally opened their account. After chasing a 159 win goal, MI reached the home in 19.2 overs, courtesy of Surya (51 from 39 balls) and Tilak (35 from 30 balls) adding 81 for the third wicket.
It was MI’s first win after eight consecutive defeats and while the result will be of little consequence, it will certainly give the five-time champion a good feeling.
Losing is also a kind of habit like winning, albeit a bad one, because with it self-confidence also disappears. Rohit didn’t look a bit merry as he was cutting his birthday cake and at the end of the day a victory must have felt like a healing balm.
Teams then manage to snatch defeat from the clutches of victory and something of that order happened on Saturday night before Surya and Tilak sang the redemption song with Tim David (20 not out off 9 balls) giving the finishing touch.
It was Daniel Sams who hit the winning six to send the spectators into a frenzy.
Rohit’s run of bad scores continued as he attempted a slog sweep from Ravichandran Ashwin (4-0-21-1) and offered an easy catch to Daryl Mitchell on square leg.
The price tag of Rs 15.25 crore is increasingly looking like a noose around the neck of Ishan Kishan (26 out of 18 balls) as he got off to a good start but in desperation to overcompensate for a mistimed pull shot.
Surya was once again smooth in his stroke play and so was MI’s most consistent player of the season Tilak, whose loft six was a glorious watch.
The duo took their time to settle down first, the team’s score at 75 in the first 10 overs and an ideal platform from which to beat the remaining 82 out of the back-10.
With no pressure on the scoreboard, Surya and Tilak managed to keep the momentum going with singles and doubles while waiting for the occasional loose ball.
Surya brought up his fifty with a muscular six-over-wide long on Ashwin’s last cast of his spell.
Tilak followed suit with his second six, but shortly after, both batters fell for unnecessarily large shots when it wasn’t the need of the hour.
From 122 for two, MI dropped to 122 for 4 with Pollard and David in the fold.
Previously, Buttler threatened to hit six sixes in an over, but managed to get four on the bounce in his 52-ball-67 as Rajasthan Royals were limited by Mumbai Indians to 158 for six in what was a subpar hitting show .
Buttler was out of his element for most of the innings before launching into rookie off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen and hitting him four straight sixes between the long-to-long-off arc.
He punched a hole in the deep end in the last ball of the 16th when MI prevented the English looter from doing more damage on death.
Shokeen, who had bowled flat and tight in previous games, looked like a slaughter lamb allowing 47 in 3 overs, including half a dozen sixes, forcing him to take the wicket, but to little avail.
In nine games so far, Buttler has racked up 566 runs at an average of 70 and a strike rate of 155 plus.
But on the day, the MI attack performed much better than in the first games, with new inductee left arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya being extremely impressive in his first appearance on the big stage.
The best bowler of the day for MI was Australian pacer Riley Meredith, who had the best marks of 2 for 24 in the set quota of four overs, cleverly mixing several slower deliveries over a few spells. He surrendered just three runs in the 20th.
Debutant Kartikeya (4-0-19-1) had nine dot balls, the prize wicket of rival skipper Sanju Samson, who by then had hit a pair of sixes on Shokeen and, most importantly, allowed only a single limit in 24 deliveries that could tell volumes. talked about his temperament.