Andre Russell had already hit four thundering sixes and was batting on 36 from 16 deliveries. Kolkata Knight Riders were 163 for 2 after 17 overs and were confidently marching towards the second 200-plus score on consecutive days in the IPL. Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma decided to bring in his best bowler on the day, left-arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan, who at that stage had figures of 3-0-18-1.
Against Russell, McClenaghan did not change his plan which he had executed so well earlier: bowling quick and on the off stump he pitched short, allowing no room for the Jamaican to free his arms. Attempting to smash the second ball over point Russell managed to only smash a bottom edge into stumps. Although Gambhir hit a four later in the over, the Knight Riders' captain was tired and the momentum was back in Mumbai's favour as Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah reined in the hosts' run rate further in the following two overs, conceding just 17 off the final 12 balls, to keep the Knight Riders 13 short of the 200-run plateau.
Parthiv's blunder blemishes bold start
There is no point starting slow if you are chasing a target in the vicinity of 200. Mumbai's plan became evident straightaway as their opening pair of Rohit and Parthiv Patel smashed at least one boundary in each of the first six overs. Mumbai had dashed to 53 for 0 at 5.4 overs. On the fifth ball of the over, Parthiv stepped out and pushed Australian chinaman bowler Brad Hogg towards the leg side and set off for a single.
Rohit had second thoughts and quickly raised his bat and hand asking Parthiv to stop. By now Parthiv was halfway down the pitch and almost a bat's length away from shaking Rohit's hand. Meanwhile, Hogg charged hard on his follow through, intercepted the ball and threw it to Robin Uthappa who knocked the bails off swiftly.
Only the previous over, Pandya had charged Kuldeep Yadav, Knight Riders' other left-arm wrist spinner, and was lucky not to be stumped after the ball raced down the leg side for five wides. Not only was Gambhir shaking his head at his bowler's mistake, but even his counterpart, Rohit was visibly unhappy.
It was possible to see Rohit telling Pandya to play to the merit of the ball and not try anything bold. Did Pandya heed the unsolicited advice? Next over, first ball from Piyush Chawla, Pandya attempts to clear the leg spinner standing in his crease, loses the grip on the bat and ends up playing a one-handed stroke which is easily picked at long-off. Mumbai 87 for 2, Rohit shakes his head.
Mitch's second rescue act
McClenaghan had already hit two sixes in a row in the 11th over from Chawla to turn the momentum firmly back in Mumbai's favour immediately after Pandya's wicket. Kuldeep had gone for 20 runs in his first two overs and was now brought back on to start his third.
As he lined up to deliver the first ball, McClenaghan moved wide to his left exposing all his stumps. Unimpressed Kuldeep stopped mid-stride. McClenaghan then moved down the leg side to make room as Kuldeep floated one into the batsman's legs, but the New Zealander slugged it deep into the stands for a six.
Rohit's Eden affair still going strong
Rohit has an average of 167.50 and a strikerate of 155.09 in five innings with Mumbai against the Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, where some of the best moments of his career have taken place. After Gambhir had shepherded the Knight Riders to a stiff target, Mumbai and Rohit needed to adopt a similar template.
They had one foot inside the victory door at the halfway stage with Rohit going strong on 45 off 31 balls. Rohit negated the ultra-charged Hogg using his feet and high calibre of stroke play. He dominated John Hastings early on with his artistic driving skills. And like Gambhir earlier, every available single was duly taken and at times converted into two.
Rohit saved his best for the final assault in the 19th when a visibly shaken Russell, who had been battered for four and two sixes off consecutive balls by Jos Buttler in the 16th, charged in for the penultimate over. Russell was hit for four effortless fours by Rohit and could do nothing but hold his head in his hands after the masterclass.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo