Kolkata Knight Riders has been a favourite opponent for Rohit Sharma the batsman and his Mumbai Indians teammates. Once the captain continued his form against the Knight Riders, it became easier for the Mumbai outfit to continue its domination against the Kolkata side in the IPL at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
The comprehensive 49-run victory, set up by Rohit’s rampaging 80 (54b, 3x4, 6x6) — his seventh 50-plus score versus KKR — and his quickfire 90-run second-wicket association with Suryakumar Yadav (47, 28b, 6x4, 1x6) — gave the defending champion not only its first win in the 13th edition, but also its maiden victory in seven outings in the Emirates.
Having won nine of the previous 10 encounters, MI couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than KKR to overcome a disappointing opening loss against Chennai Super Kings. Once KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik erred by persisting with pace for the first five overs, Rohit forced the Knight Riders to play catch-up.
Barring the wicket-maiden bowled early on by Shivam Mavi, the young pacer who was the pick of the KKR bowlers, nothing went the Kolkata side’s way. Suryakumar caressed Sandeep Warrier for four fours in the third over before Rohit welcomed Pat Cummins with two sixes in the fifth.
That set the platform for a leather-hunt and even after Suryakumar’s needless run out in the 11th over, Rohit continued to clear the boundary at will. With most of the big-hitters chipping in with cameos, MI amassed a mammoth 195. Mumbai’s Trent Boult started off with a maiden to Shubman Gill, showing that Rohit’s men were on the money from the get-go. Where the Knight Riders had earlier persisted with bowling in the arc, the MI bowlers knew exactly what to do, especially bowling in the dew.
Boult and James Pattinson not only stuck in the PowerPlay but never offered freebies, helping Mumbai tighten the screws. That enabled the side use Kieron Pollard — making his 150th IPL appearance — effectively with the ball. In fact, Pollard picked up his first IPL wicket since 2015 when southpaw Nitish Rana was caught well in the deep by Hardik Pandya.
With the run-rate mounting to almost 20 an over with five overs remaining, Knight Riders looked to Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan to pull off a miracle. But Jasprit Bumrah, running in at full steam, saw the back of both the dangermen in the 16th over to seal the deal.
MUMBAI INDIANS: Quinton de Kock c Naik b Mavi 1 (3b), Rohit Sharma c Cummins b Mavi 80 (54b, 3x4, 6x6), Suryakumar Yadav run out 47 (28b, 6x4, 1x6), Saurabh Tiwary c Cummins b Narine 21 (13b, 1x4, 1x6), Hardik Pandya hit wicket b Russell 18 (13b, 2x4, 1x6), Kieron Pollard (not out) 13 (7b, 1x4), Krunal Pandya (not out) 1 (3b); Extras (lb-2, w-11, nb-1): 14; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 195.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-8 (de Kock, 1.2 overs), 2-98 (Suryakumar, 10.5), 3-147 (Saurabh, 15.1), 4-177 (Rohit, 17.5), 5-180 (Hardik, 18.3).
KNIGHT RIDERS BOWLING: Warrier 3-0-34-0, Mavi 4-1-32-2, Cummins 3-0-49-0, Narine 4-0-22-1, Russell 2-0-17-1 , Kuldeep 4-0-39-0.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: Shubman Gill c Pollard b Boult 7 (11b,1x4), Sunil Narine c de Kock b Pattinson 9 (10b,1x6), Dinesh Karthik lbw b Chahar 30 (23b, 5x4), Nitish Rana c Hardik b Pollard 24 (18b, 2x4,1x6), Eoin Morgan c de Kock b Bumrah 16 (20b,1x4,1x6), Andre Russell b Bumrah 11 (11b, 2x4), Nikhil Naik c Hardik b Boult 1 (3b), Pat Cummins c Hardik b Pattinson 33 (12b, 1x4, 4x6), Shivam Mavi st de Kock b Chahar 9 (10b,1x4), Kuldeep Yadav (not out) 1 (2b); Extras (1b-2, w-3): 5; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 146.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-14 (Gill, 2.4 overs), 2-25 (Narine, 4.5), 3-71 (Karthik,10.1), 4-77 (Rana,11.4), 5-100 (Russell, 15.1), 6-101 (Morgan,15.4), 7-103 (Naik, 16.3), 8-141 (Cummins,18.2), 9-146 (Mavi,19.6)
MUMBAI INDIANS BOWLING: Boult 4-1-30-2, Pattinson 4-0-25-2, Bumrah 4-0-32-2, Chahar 4-0-26-2, Pollard 3-0-21-1, Krunal 1-0-10-0.