In a usual lopsided contest, Kolkata Knight Riders succumbed to Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Chasing 149 in the second-leg meet of the Indian Premier League 2020, Mumbai thrashed the Knight Riders by eight wickets inside 17 overs to go on top of the points table. Rohit Sharma’s side has also maintained a handsome net run rate of +1.353.
Quinton de Kock (78 not out, 44b, 9×4, 3×6) continued his rich form by hammering a quick fifty to snatch the game away in a flash. The South African executed classical cricketing shots, including his signature hook, to keep the scoreboard ticking. He found solid support in Rohit (35, 36b, 5×4, 1×6) and the partnership helped Mumbai to its best powerplay of the season. At the end of six overs, they raced to 51 without losing a wicket.
By the time Shivam Mavi (1/24) applied breaks by dismissing Rohit, who was caught behind, Mumbai needed 55 off 58 balls.
Suryakumar Yadav (10, 10b, 1×4) failed to make it count while trying to execute a sweep off spin bowler Varun Chakravarthy (1/23). He dragged the delivery onto his stumps, but the game was in Mumbai’ grip.
For the second time in the season — post Sunil Narine’s disappearance due to suspect action — the Knight Riders could dismiss only two opponent batters. It was a similar story against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Rahul Chahar show
Mumbai’s disciplined bowling effort restricted the Knight Riders to 148 for the loss of five wickets.
The Knights started cautiously but Suryakumar’s quick reflexes in the point region to pluck Rahul Tripathi (7, 9b, 1×4) off Trent Boult turned the tide for Mumbai. It completely changed the body language of the side.
Playing in his first game of the season, Nathan Coulter-Nile (1/30) snatched an edge off Nitish Rana (5, 6b, 1×4) to finish the powerplay on a high. It set the stage for leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (2/18) who called the shots in the middle overs by removing Shubman Gill (21, 23b, 2×4) and Dinesh Karthik 4 (8b, 1×4) in consecutive deliveries.
Karthik, who handed over the captaincy to Eoin Morgan to bat more freely, could not execute the attempted sweep off a tossed-up delivery. Bumrah packed the final punch by surprising big-hitter Andre Russell 12 (9b, 1×4, 1×6) with a short ball that went to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.
Pat Cummins continued his good batting record against Mumbai by smashing a game-turning 53 not out (36b, 5×4, 2×6). Morgan and Cummins added 87 runs off 57 balls for the sixth wicket to take KKR to a decent total.
In the first-leg encounter, Cummins had smashed a 12-ball 33 against Mumbai.
The duo took calculated steps and broke free in the last two overs to disturb the statistics of Boult and Coulter-Nile. Cummins anticipated the slower ones, the yorkers and shuffled around the crease smartly to find the gaps. Morgan exploded in the final over by smashing two sixes off Coulter-Nile — one over the wide long-on area followed by a straight one.