Mumbai Indians finally win first IPL game to give Rohit Sharma perfect birthday present

Five-time champions end eight-match losing streak by beating Rajasthan by five wickets

Hrithik Shokeen celebrates after taking the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal during the Mumbai Indians' IPL victory over Rajasthan Royals. Sportzpics for IPL
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Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma received the perfect birthday present on Saturday after his team finally registered their fist win of the Indian Premier League season.

The five-time champions had lost eight matches on the trot to effectively drop out of the playoff race, but claimed a five-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals to end their disastrous start to the tournament.

Asked if the win was a good 35th birthday present, Rohit said: "I would definitely take it. That's how we play. The real potential came out today, with the ball especially."

Mumbai frequently experimented with their player combination during their winless run but could not arrest their slide and despite Saturday's win at the DY Patil Stadium, remain rooted to the bottom of the 10-team league table.

"When you have a season like that, you're not sure of your combination. You want to try out so many things," said Rohit, whose own form has been patchy.

The season could have been different had Mumbai been able to close some of the matches they narrowly lost.

"It hasn't worked for the eight games we played, but we were not blown away by the opposition," Rohit said. "We came really close and we lost crucial games. Had we won those, things would be different for us."

After Mumbai restricted Rajasthan to 158/6, Suryakumar Yadav's belligerent 51 set up Mumbai's victory and the top order batsman said the win had somewhat lifted the gloom in the dressing room.

"It was a good one from the team's point of view," Yadav said after collecting player of the match award. "Losing so many games, that was an important win to have a good atmosphere in the team."

Updated: May 01, 2022, 7:52 AM