Mumbai Indians kept their nerve to edge a thriller over Kolkata Knight Riders and record their first win in the tenth season of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Sunday. Chasing a target of 179, things seemed lost and buried for Mumbai after they lost Kieron Pollard with 49 needed off the last 17 balls. But Nitesh Rana and Hardik Pandya played two swashbuckling knocks to take Mumbai to their seventh win over Kolkata at this venue.
KKR’s great start
Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn put on 187 in less than 15 overs against Gujarat a couple of days back. In Mumbai, they were against Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah. But that didn’t seem to faze them. Malinga’s first two overs went for 20, McClenaghan went for 9 and Bumrah for 15. After four overs, KKR were 44/0 and it was left to left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya to get Mumbai Indians’ first breakthrough.
Krunal Pandya’s double blow
Mumbai Indians desperately needed a wicket but it didn’t come from the usual suspect. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was brought into the Powerplay and he struck gold. He first had Gautam Gambhir caught at square-leg. Then Robin Uthappa tried to go big on him but only ended up holing out to deep mid-wicket. The Pandya combination resulted in Yusuf Pathan’s wicket as well. Krunal finally finished with figures of 3/24. He couldn’t do something similar with the bat, being dismissed for 11, but he’s made sure no one will underestimate Pandya Sr.
Bumrah ends the Lynn-sanity
Chris Lynn’s dream run in the IPL finally came to an end, thanks to a Jasprit Bumrah stinger. The 23-year-old pacer delivered one full and straight at Lynn who played one of his characteristic heaves but completely missed it to be caught plumb in front. After that good start. KKR were left floundering at 67/3.
Between Lynn’s wicket and Yusuf’s, only 20 runs came in 4.1 overs for Kolkata. They went for 67/3 in 7.3 overs to a limping 88/4 in 11.4, a drastic fall in the run rate. Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya were the ones who administered the squeeze, leaving KKR gasping for breath.
Pandey holds KKR together
Kolkata’s other big guns had failed and it was up to 27-year-old Manish Pandey to hold KKR together. He started off slowly, getting his first boundary after 19 balls but soon raced ahead with some pretty-looking shots to a 37-ball 50. He delivered the coup de grace in the last over smashing McClenaghan all over the park to finish on an unbeaten 47-ball 81.
McClenaghan’s horror last over
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Ashok Dinda bowled a horror last over against Mumbai and Mitch McClenaghan looked like he wanted to rival it. His first ball of the last over to Pandey was hammered away for a six, his second, a no-ball, was hit for a four and his third was a wide with his fourth disappearing for a six. The last three balls he bowled were a little better but KKR still managed 23 runs off the last over to lift from 155/6 to 178/7.
Parthiv Patel should have been out on the seventh ball of the match. He swung to Chris Woakes but missed. Except there was a sound of a click. No one in KKR seemed interested, except Uthappa behind the stumps who gave a half-hearted appeal. The umpire remained unmoved and Ultra-edge later showed there was a nice little nick.
And the umpiring blunders became worse. Jos Buttler was adjudged leg-before-wicket to Ankit Rajpoot to one which was going down leg. Then Rohit Sharma got a massive inside-edge to Narine onto his legs and was given out. It was clearly not out and Rohit wasn’t a happy man.
Chris Lynn’s injury
KKR’s hot new Aussie import became the highest run-scorer, at least for now, this IPL but the Orange Cap didn’t give him a lot of luck. In trying to dive and take a spectacular catch to dismiss Jos Buttler, Chris Lynn hurt his left shoulder. He fell and immediately gestured at the physio and pointed at his shoulder. Lynn did walk off, but his injury looked serious and it’ll be bad news for KKR if he’s ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
Narine performs his own squeeze
Kolkata did to Mumbai what Mumbai did to them. After 5 overs, Mumbai Indians were coasting at 44/0. But KKR got Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav on, they got three wickets and even got the economy rate down. Five overs later, Mumbai had just added 30 runs more and reached 74/3 in 10 overs. Three of these overs were delivered by Narine, who was back to his magical best, getting the wicket of Rohit Sharma, though off a dodgy lbw call. He finished with figures of 1/22 in his four overs at an economy rate of below 6. Gold dust.
No repeat of Pollard’s heroics
Last time, Kieron Pollard played at the Wankhede Stadium against Kolkata, he smashed a 24-ball 51, studded with six sixes to help Mumbai chase down a similar target (175). This year, he threatened to do something similar, hitting one four and one six and playing out a Kuldeep Yadav over, but was caught at third-man, off Chris Woakes’s bowling. No repeat of his magic then.
The Rana-Pandya show takes Mumbai home
Pollard didn’t fire but who cares when you have such talented youngsters to do the job. Everyone know, by now, how hard Hardik Pandya can hit a hard ball but today Nitesh Rana showed equal temerity. With 49 needed of 17 balls, the run-rate close to 17, Nitesh Rana held his nerve, pulled out the scoop and got hit into everything to snatch victory out of KKR’s hands, with a 29-ball 50. He did get dismissed in the 19th over but Hardik Pandya was there at hand to calmly swat away two sixes and three boundaries in his 11-ball 29 to take Mumbai home to yet another win over Kolkata at the Wankhede Stadium.
KKR’s horror last over
KKR still had a chance to win the match but they undid it with some pathetic fielding in the last over bowled by Boult. First, Suryakumar Yadav messed up a routine pickup at the boundary to let four runs through. Then Rishi Dhawan, substituting for Gambhir at square leg, dropped a chance next ball. Hardik Pandya didn’t need any more invitation to take Mumbai to their first win in the IPL.
Kolkata Knight Riders 178/7 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 81 not out, Chris Lynn 32; Krunal Pandya 3/24, Lasith Malinga 2/36) lost to Mumbai Indians 180/6 in 19.5 overs (Nitish Rana 50, Parthiv Patel 30; Ankit Rajpoot 3/37, Sunil Narine 1/22) by four wickets