Gibbs and Rohit lay the foundation for an easy win; Kallis' knock goes in vain
Mumbai Indians brought Kolkata Knight Riders down to earth with a 27-run defeat in the IPL-V match at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
The men who fashioned the victory were Man-of-the-match Rohit Sharma (109 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (66 not out).
The visiting team's disciplined bowling too made a big difference at the end. The loss snapped KKR's six-match winning streak.
Chasing a target of 182, KKR needed a solid start. But its run chase suffered heavy blows when skipper Gautam Gambhir was dismissed in the first over and his partner followed in the next leaving the home side reeling at three for two. Knight Riders never recovered from the setbacks in front of a sell-out crowd.
Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary joined forces amid mounting pressure to add 57 for the third wicket in 8.2 overs before Tiwary was leg-before.
Then Kallis and Yusuf Pathan tried their best with a 91-run partnership for the fourth wicket in 10.1 overs, but it was not enough. Yusuf's 31-ball unbeaten 40 was his highest of the season.
Earlier, a masterly unbeaten century by Rohit and his unbroken second wicket partnership of 167 with Gibbs propelled Mumbai Indians to 182 for one in 20 overs.
Rohit's was a gem of an innings which mostly comprised clean cricketing shots.
The famed KKR bowling wilted under pressure as Brett Lee, Kallis and Rajat Bhatia went for runs. Sachin Tendulkar left early, stumped by Manvinder Bisla off Shakib Al Hasan in the third over.
Gibbs and Rohit then came together and the Mumbai youngster went after the bowling with some stunning shots.
Rohit was severe on the pacers and the hallmark of his innings was the placement as he judged the pace, turn and bounce nicely.
West Indian spinner Sunil Narine did trouble him.
He almost got Rohit but the blind heave did not carry to a fielder. Rohit was also lucky when he whacked Kallis back but the ball came too fast for the bowler to take the catch.
Rohit's knock had 12 delectable boundaries and five sixes as he equalled the tournament's highest individual score — feat held by Delhi's David Warner. The stylish right-hander's century was fourth of the season and second by an Indian.
Gibbs, playing his first gamefor Mumbai Indians this season, made full use of the opportunity.
Mumbai Indians: H. Gibbs (not out) 66 (58b, 7x4, 2x6), S. Tendulkar st. Bisla b Shakib 2 (2b), Rohit (not out) 109 (60b, 12x4, 5x6); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for one wkt. in 20 overs): 182.
Fall of wicket: 1-15.
Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Shakib 4-0-27-1, Lee 4-0-44-0, Narine 4-0-28-0, Kallis 4-0-40-0, Bhatia 4-0-41-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders: M. Bisla c Munaf b Ojha 1 (2b), G. Gambhir b Munaf 0 (2b), J. Kallis c Rohit b Dwayne Smith 79 (60b, 7x4, 3x6), M. Tiwary lbw b Pollard 27 (25b, 4x4), Yusuf (not out) 40 (31b, 2x4, 1x6), Debabrata Das (not out) 4 (1b, 1x4); Extras (lb-2, nb-1, w-1): 4; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 155.
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Gambhir), 2-3 (Bisla), 3-60 (Tiwary), 4-151 (Kallis).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Munaf 4-0-32-1, Ojha 3-0-26-1, Malinga 4-0-27-0, Harbhajan 1-0-7-0, Pollard 4-0-29-1, Dwayne Smith 4-0-32-1.