Rohit Sharma was elated after Mumbai Indians condemned Kolkata Knight Riders to a massive 102-run defeat at Eden Gardens to stay in the race for a top-four finish in the Indian Premier League.
MI were off to a poor start once again this season winning only one of the first six matches before a turnaround happened. They recorded their fourth victory in the last five games to displace KKR from the fourth spot to keep their play-off hopes alive.
"As a team we tend to pick up during the month of May. Hope we do it sooner. Never easy to be on the line all the time and be desperate for wins towards the second half. Would like to start the tournament on a high. But in the past three years, we've been at the bottom of the table. I'm glad we came together and performed as a team today," Rohit said at the post match presentation ceremony.
Put in to bat, Mumbai Indians rode on Ishan Kishan's blazing 21-ball 62and lower-order fireworks by Ben Cutting who smashed 25 off 9 balls to post a mammoth 210/6.
Chasing a record target at Eden Gardens, KKR's chase never took off with Sunil Narine falling on the second ball of the first over bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan.
Chris Lynn took the attack back to the bowlers but his 21-run stay was cut short when he got into a mix-up with Robin Uthappa while stealing a single.
Uthappa's poor form continued and he fell to Mayank Markande for 14. And when Andre Russell exited in the eighth over to Hardik Pandya, the writing was pretty much on the wall for KKR.
Dinesh Karthik (5), Nitish Rana (21) and Rinku Singh (5) then followed in a procession and Mumbai were on the cusp of a huge win which would bolster their net run rate.
Mumbai would be grateful to Ishan, whose innings was laced with five fours and six sixes. He brought up his fifty in 17 balls, the joint second-fastest this season to reach the milestone with Sunil Narine who also completed his half century in 17 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue.
"Without a doubt, the way Ishan Kishan batted fearlessly, that was the changing point. I was assessing the pitch at that point, ball was sticking in the pitch, it wasn't easy, but he changed the game. We were 65 after first ten overs, but scoring 145 in last ten overs is a magnificent effort by all the batters. Ben Cutting as well, he hasn't been getting much opportunity as well, it's not easy to come out and play shots like that," Rohit added.
Ishan and Rohit (36) joined hands for a 82-run partnership for the third wicket off just 34 balls. Rohit was dropped by Nitish Rana on 10, when the team was on 90/2.
Openers Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav gave MI a decent start. Lewis was dropped by Kuldeep Yadav (3/43) running backwards from square leg off Prasidh Krishna (1/41) when he was batting on 16.
But the 26-year-old Trinidadian could not make the most of the reprieve, getting out in strange fashion trying to pull a loose Chawla delivery with the ball ballooning off the back of his bat to short third man where Chris Lynn took an easy catch.
Lewis and Suryakumar stitched together a 46-run stand for the opening wicket as Mumbai Indians were 47/1 at the end of Powerplay.
Former KKR player Suryakumar who has been MI's batting mainstay this season, then threw away a strong start, pulling a Chawla half tracker to Rinku Singh at deep midwicket.
At the halfway stage, Mumbai were 72/2 with Ishan joining Rohit in the middle.
At the end, it was all thanks to Ishan that Mumbai finished with a huge score that ultimately broke KKR's morale in their own den.
It was Mumbai Indians' second largest victory in terms of runs and they also kept their record intact against KKR registering their 8th successive win against the Kolkata-based franchise.
"We as a team are prepared to post a total or chase down what is put in front of us. Can't do much with the toss. Have to come out here and play good cricket. Last few games, the team has come together and taken responsibility," Rohit said.
Mumbai Indians next take on Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 13.
Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/story/not-easy-to-be-on-the-line-all-the-time-rohit-sharma-after-mi-go-4th-1229522-2018-05-10