Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma was a relieved man after his team’s emphatic six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Friday (May 4) night.
After opting to field first, Mumbai restricted Punjab to 174/6 in 20 overs with Jasprit Bumrah (4-0-19-1) being the stand-out performer for the defending champions with the ball. In reply, Suryakumar Yadav slammed his fourth IPL fifty (57 runs off 42 balls) upfront before Rohit Sharma (24* runs off 15 balls) and Krunal Pandya (31* runs off 12 balls) sealed the deal for MI with an over to spare.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit said: "I think we are still alive. Good performance tonight. Much needed for us. We needed everyone to come and put a collective effort. We started well with the ball. To restrict their batting unit on this pitch at this ground was a great effort. And to chase it down the way we did was really nice."
The outcome could have been different if not for Rohit and Krunal’s cameo at the fag end of the innings. The duo added an unbeaten stand of 51 runs in just three overs to see Mumbai home. Rohit, who got a bit of flak for promoting Hardik Pandya ahead of himself, revealed that the all-rounder was sent earlier to help MI score at a rapid rate in the middle overs.
"The way we went about our chase in the first 10 overs, I felt we needed momentum. So, Hardik, the way he plays, was suited to do that. Hence, I held myself back for the end and having played here before, I know what kind of shots work. Always feels good when you finish off the chase," Rohit asserted.
It was Mumbai’s third victory out of the nine matches that they have played in this year’s IPL thus far. From now onwards, they will have to win all their remaining five matches to qualify for the playoffs.
"It is important not to look too far ahead, need to focus on one game at a time and to think how we can come out on top in that game,” Sharma remarked.
"Playoffs are important but we need to win games to reach there. Big challenge for us to continue this momentum from hereon. In the past we have won games and then gone on to lose a few games. Don't want that to happen again," the MI skipper concluded.
Mumbai Indians will now play their next match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday (May 6).