Kolkata: May 12, 2012
Rohit Sharma smashed an unbeaten century to propel Mumbai Indians (MI) to a challenging 182 for one against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Sharma smashed 109 in 60 balls, his first IPL century, with 12 fours and five sixes as he mesmerised the packed Eden crowd while Herschelle Gibbs played a perfect second fiddle, remaining unbeaten on 66 from 58 balls.
Opting to bat, Mumbai Indians recovered brilliantly after the early loss of Tendulkar with Sharma in murderous mood while Gibbs made a fine debut in Mumbai colours. The duo put on an undefeated 167-run partnership (from 106 balls) for the second wicket.
It was season's second highest partnership behind David Warner and Naman Ojha's 189-run stand for Delhi Daredevils against Deccan Chargers.
Tendulkar had a forgettable outing after being dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan in the very second ball he faced. He was beaten by the spin as he had his backfoot in air to be stumped in the third over of the innings.
But the mighty blow hardly affected the Mumbai Indians with Gibbs and Sharma taking charge of the proceedings.
In the very next over, Sharma pulled Lee for a six over square leg and followed it up with a boundary with a fine slice through third man.
Sharma smacked Shakib for 14 runs with two boundaries and a six over midwicket, something that set the tone for the evening.
It was raining boundaries and sixes as the sizzling Sharma dominated the Knight Riders bowlers at ease with an rray of copybook strokes.
Sharma notched his half-century in 29 balls and lofted Rajat Bhatia over his head to take Mumbai Indians past the 100-mark in 12 overs.
Gibbs, who had begun with smashing three boundaries of Lee, played a perfect fiddle and was happy giving the strikes to Sharma.
The Knight Riders tried their best to break the partnership by rotating the bowlers but with Sharma at his best it was of little use for the home side.
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 with a fine flick of Lee, to get to the milestone in 52 balls.
Such was the domination that the duo put the Knight Riders bowlers into submission with Lee returning the most expensive conceding 44 from his quota of four overs.
Jacques Kallis and Rajat Bhatia were also sent to the cleaners giving away 10-plus runs from each over. (PTI)
Brief Scores: MI 182 for 1 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 109*, Herschelle Gibbs 66*; Shakib Al Hasan 1 for 27) vs KKR