Rohit Sharma hammered a whirlwind century as the Mumbai Indians beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs at Eden Gardens in their Indian Premier League match on Saturday. Chasing a mammoth total of 183, the hosts managed 155 for 4 in their quota of overs.
Kolkata's innings got off to a disastrous start when they lost captain Gautam Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla in the first two overs. Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha dismissed Gambhir and Bisla respectively to give KKR early jitters. Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary then got down to rebuilding the with a half-century stand.
Then, Kolkata lost their third wicket in the form of Tiwary (27) when Kieron Pollard scalped for him. Then Kallis and Yusuf Pathan continued to push KKR towards the target but, with the increasing run-rate defeat looked inevitable. The duo's 91-run stand for the fourth wicket was not enough for Kolkata to their seventh consecutive victory in the tournament.
Earlier, Rohit racked up a quickfire ton and Herschelle Gibbs a half-century as the Mumbai Indians reached a formidable total of 182 for 1. Rohit scored 60-ball unbeaten 109 which included twelve boundaries and five sixes. He was ably supported by Gibbs who notched a 58-ball 66. The duo also added 167 off 106 deliveries for the second wicket.
Opting to bat, Mumbai recovered brilliantly after the early loss of Sachin Tendulkar with Sharma in murderous mood while Gibbs made a fine debut in Mumbai colours. Tendulkar was drawn forward to drive, but the left-arm spinner Shakib al-Hasan managed to get enough away movement from a quicker delivery to beat the bat and wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla had the bails off in a flash.
But the mighty blow hardly affected the Mumbai with Gibbs and Sharma taking charge of the proceedings. Gibbs smashed three beautiful boundaries off Brett Lee's first over, and Rohit quickly marked himself as the star of the show. He hit Shakib for two fours and a six in his third over as Mumbai reached 50 in 6.1 overs. Sharma notched his half-century in 29 balls and MI past the 100-mark in just 12 overs.
The duo were also sensible in their approach as they negotiated mystery spinner Sunil Narine watchfully while attacking the other bowlers. Sharma brought on his maiden IPL century off just 52 balls. Gibbs went to his fifty, off 48 deliveries, off the next delivery as Mumbai went to 156 for 1 after 17 overs. But they managed to score just 26 runs off the last three overs as Lee and Kallis conceded just 12 runs in the last two overs.