Finally, the evening arrived when Mumbai Indians registered their maiden win in the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League. Five-time champions defeated in-form Rajasthan Royals by five wickets on the eve of Rohit Sharma's 35th birthday and opened their accounts in the points table. Middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma played fine knocks to ensure victory before Hrithik Shokeen and Riley Meredith picked two wickets each to restrict Rajasthan to 158 in 20 overs.
In response to 158, Mumbai suffered early blows in the form of birthday boy Rohit Sharma (2 off 5), followed by a crucial partnership between Ishan Kishan (26 off 18) and Suryakumar Yadav (51 off 39) for the second wicket. Seasoned batter Tilak Verma too, made a valuable contribution with 35 runs, as Tim David (20 off 9) finished things for his side.
Earlier, Jos Buttler scored gritty 67 off 52 balls to help his side score a respective total of 158 onboard. While none of the other batters could play any impressive knock in the game, R Ashwin's blistering 21 run cameo in 9 balls added quickfire runs in the first innings. Mumbai Indians winning their maiden tournament game is indeed a sigh of relief for five-time champions.
Let's take a look at highlights from the competition.
1. Jos Buttler's gritty knock
The orange cap holder is leading the charge for the Royals, as he scored yet another match-saving knock for his side. While wickets kept falling from one end, Buttler held the fort from one side and put a price on his wicket by scoring 67 runs. Butter's inning was studded with four maximums and five boundaries. Although Buttler scoring 67 runs in 52 balls does not speak volumes of the kind of knocks he has been playing throughout the tournament; indeed, it helped the side to post a competitive total on board.
2. Mumbai Indians' impressive bowling
For Mumbai, bowling was a major concern as they were leaking too many runs in the previous game. But, Saturday saw another improved version of Mumbai bowlers as they took regular wickets in the first innings and restricted Rajasthan to 158 runs. Hrithik Shokeen and Riley Meredith picked two wickets each in the game, while Daniel Sams and Kumar Kartikeya finished the game with one wicket each.
3. Match winning partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma
Dismissal of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan put Mumbai Indians on the backfoot, but Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma once again starred with the bat as they played fine knocks to rescue their side from yet another batting collapse. SKY's 51 in 39 balls and Tilak Verma's 35 runs in 30 balls added vital runs in the second innings for Mumbai. Both the batters played cracking shots to guide Mumbai to a commanding position in the game.