KKR win an away tie against MI after 12 years, all but put hosts out of IPL

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Mumbai: Kolkata Knight Riders bowling unit performed in unison to win a battle of attrition against five-time champions Mumbai Indians by 24 runs in an IPL match here on Friday.

If KKR batters were guilty of not working out their game plan on the go in the first half to be bowled out for just 169 with Venkatesh Iyer contributing 70, Mumbai Indians’ underperforming batters stood no chance on a tricky wicket which demanded both application and patience. They were all-out for 145 in 18.5 overs and are practically out of the competition which has been a nightmare for Hardik Pandya.

It was KKR’s first away win in Mumbai after12 years and last time they won here, their principal owner Shah Rukh Khan was embroiled in an argument with security staff which led to his ban from the venue for next three years. That year KKR won the trophy and this win took them to 14 points and kept them in contention for a finish among the first two teams.

 

Despite Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliant fifty, Mumbai Indians were shot out for 145 in 18.5 overs chasing 170, found wanting with the bat once again as Mitchell Starc (3.5-0-33-4) cleaned up the tail for KKR’s seventh win in 10 matches.

Until he top edged one off a full toss from Andre Russell (2/30), Suryakumar appeared to be proving the difference between the two sides with a top quality knock which brought MI back from the brink.

With six fours and two sixes, Suryakumar made 56 off 35 balls in an innings that kept MI’s hopes alive.

Suryakumar also brought the equation down enough for his side to get over the line after they were reduced to 71/6 at one stage.

But none of the MI batters showed their hand up as KKR ran away with the game with a flurry of wickets towards the end.

Also impressive were KKR’s spin duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, producing identical figures of 4-0-22-2 to keep the MI batters under the pump.

Having smacked a six and a four off Starc, Ishan Kishan (13) missed connecting a wild heave which resulted in the Aussie knocking down his leg stump.

Naman Dhir (11) hit two fours to start with but he also went for a heave and missed with Chakravarthy striking on his first delivery.

Playing as an impact sub, Rohit Sharma (11) lofted Starc for a spectacular six over extra cover but failed to connect well when he went to pull a short one from Narine.

Manish Pandey covered a fair distance moving backwards to reduce MI to 46 for three in the powerplay.

Chakravarthy ensured a short stay in the middle for MI’s most successful batter this year when he had Tilak Varma (4) caught by Narine at short third man.

The flow of wickets pushed MI on the backfoot and the pressure resulted in further success when Nehal Wadhera (6) chopped one onto his wickets off Narine.

MI skipper and India vice-captain for the upcoming T20 World Cup Hardik Pandya walked out to loud boos once again at home turf Wankhede Stadium only to be outdone by the awkward pace off the surface.

Pandya’s innings lasted only two balls as he too, like a few others, was early into his shot which produced a top edge to be grabbed easily.

Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders’ aggressive approach came a cropper on a sluggish surface as they were bowled out for a paltry 169 despite Venkatesh Iyer’s half-century.

Venkatesh scored 70 off 52 balls but his selfish attitude of trying to preserve his own wicket by sacrificing enforcer Russell certainly cost the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned side 20 runs which didn’t turn out to be costly in the end.

Veteran Pandey scored 42 off 31 balls in a stand of 83 for the sixth wicket with Venkatesh.

Just like the top-order was blown away before the total reached 60, the last five fell for just 29 runs as Jasprit Bumrah (3/18 in 3.5 overs) was too hot to handle with his toe-crushers at the death.

On a two-paced wicket which had the odd delivery coming on to the bat slower than expected, KKR batters were guilty of rushing into their shots and and not reading the track well before formulating their plans.

As a result, half of their side was back in the hut in the powerplay without having anything significant on the board.

After the explosive top order cut a sorry figure, Rinku Singh (9) too squandered an opportunity to bat big, forcing KKR to turn to the experienced Pandey as impact sub for rescue.

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