Rohit dominates Eden Gardens once again as Mumbai get off the mark


Rohit Sharma's mastery of Eden Gardens was in evidence again as the Mumbai Indians captain and Jos Buttler saw off Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Chasing 188 after winning the toss and inserting the hosts, Buttler thrashed 41 off a mere 22 deliveries alongside his skipper, who carried his bat to the tune of 84 off 54, helping the defending champions bounce back from their tournament-opening defeat to debutants Rising Pune Supergiants.

With previous scores of 109 not out and 98 not out at Eden Gardens in the IPL, Rohit's fifty was his third against KKR, as the Mumbai captain backed up his pre-game talk of opening for the rest of the competition.

Gautam Gambhir (64 of 52 balls) and Manish Pandey (52 off 29) did the bulk of the work for KKR, putting on exactly 100 runs for the second wicket.

Pandey's dismissal brought last year's Player of the Series Andre Russell to the crease and a blistering display of power saw the West Indies international add 36 off just 17 balls, four of which were deposited over the rope for six.

Mitchell McClenaghan cramped Russell for room, with Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya backing up the New Zealander well to limit the hosts, who had looked set for 200.

Mumbai coach Ricky Ponting revealed during the game that Martin Guptill will replace Lendl Simmons for the tournament, and the Kiwi opener could prove a fine partner for Rohit - who anchored the reply superbly.

After Parthiv Patel (23 off 20) and Pandya (9 off nine) did little damage, the shock promotion of McClenaghan to number four provided Mumbai with the momentum they needed, the left-hander blasting 20 off just eight balls before departing to set the scene for Buttler.

Having marked his IPL debut with a duck against Pune, Buttler made up for lost time with three maximums, but the final word went to Rohit as three fours in a row off Russell after Buttler departed got Mumbai off the mark.