Mumbai Indians set up a final clash with Rising Pune Supergiant after recording a facile six-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the second Qualifier in Bengaluru on Friday.
Despite the loss against Pune in the first qualifier, Mumbai came out with intensity and KKR had no answer to their bowling. It was another case of them throwing away their wickets with Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir dismissed while going for the big shots. At 31/5, things looked abject for KKR but youngsters Suryakumar Yadav and Ishank Jaggi managed some sort of recovery, taking KKR to 107 all out.
Mumbai were hardly troubled in their chase, despite losing three early wickets. Krunal Pandya and Rohit Sharma had the chase in control and pulled out some big shots at the end to ensure that Mumbai won by the comfortable margin of six wickets and 33 balls left.
The first signs that it was going to be an unusual match was when the team was announced. For only the second time in six years, Yusuf Pathan had missed a game. Only the second time since he was bought by KKR in 2011. Whew.
It looked just coming up against Mumbai and having to bat first had ended all KKR’s spirit. In a far cry from their usually destructive selves, Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine both got bat on air. When frustrated, both threw it away with big shots. Mumbai kept the pressure up, Gambhir also holed out and Robin Uthappa and Colin de Grandhomme followed. 31/5.
The man who helmed the destruction was Karn Sharma. His deadly variations had KKR stuttering. Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir and Colin de Grandhomme were his victims. Then, when Suryakumar Yadav and Ishank Jaggi were engineering a decent comeback, he came back again to break the stand and get Jaggi. Figures of just 4/16.
Maybe KKR could have competed if they had got 30-40 runs more? Their bowling wasn’t bad, but they never had enough runs on board. They made a few incisions and had Mumbai at 34/3 but the low target and the ever-declining required run rate ensured things never got tough. Krunal Pandya and Rohit Sharma soaked up the pressure, ran the singles and hit the big shots at the end to ensure there were no hiccups, putting on 54 runs in 38 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders 107 all out in 18.5 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 31, Ishank Jaggi 28; Karn Sharma 4/16, Jasprit Bumrah 3/7) lost to Mumbai Indians 108/4 in 14.3 overs (Krunal Pandya 42 not out, Rohit Sharma 26; Piyush Chawla 2/34, Nathan Coulter-Nile 1/15) by six wickets.