Mumbai Indians milestone men Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga have mixed day at office.
Being their 100th IPL game in Mumbai Indians colours, all eyes were on skipper Rohit Sharma and Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga. However, it turned out to be a game of contrasting fortunes for the two icons.
While Sunrisers Hyderabad’s leg-spin sensation Rashid Khan upset Rohit’s plans of celebrating the occasion in style, Malinga turned in another fine performance for his franchise.
Despite the growing chorus for him to open the innings, Rohit batted at No 3 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium. He started with a glorious backfoot drive off Ashish Nehra - his most confident stroke of the 10th Indian Premier League.
But Sunrisers skipper David Warner’s move to bring in Rashid proved a masterstroke as the leg-spinner foxed Rohit with a googly, trapping him leg before for four runs.
Malinga had just one wicket to Jasprit Bumrah’s three but carried his role as leader of the attack brilliantly. He gave little away with the new ball and was miserly at the end of the Sunrisers innings, finishing with 4-0-30-1.
LEADING MI BY EXAMPLE
Rohit has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians since 2011, the lynchpin of their batting line-up. He took over the team’s captaincy a couple of games into the 2013 season and led MI to their maiden IPL title.
He repeated the title success in 2015. He is the highest run-getter in the team’s history, scoring 350 plus every season since 2011. Last season he got 489 runs at an average of 44.45 with five half-centuries. With 3883 runs, he is third in the all-time scorers’ list in the IPL, including the first three seasons with Deccan Chargers.
However, this season he has been dismissed for two, three and four runs. It may be time to go back to his favourite position at the top of the order.
Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in IPL history with 147 scalps. Having played all his IPL cricket with Mumbai Indians, he is the face of the team and is hugely popular with the fans. Fans can be seen sporting Malinga wigs in the stands. Like everytime, on Wednesday too his bowling was backed by a chorus of MAAA-LIN-GAAAA, MAAA-LIN-GAAAA. He has the best bowling average also, 17.80.
He missed the 2016 season, but in 2015 had taken 24 wickets in 15 games. Against KKR in the previous game with Mumbai Indians won, he took two for 36.
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