IPL 2017 | Second string Mumbai end KKR’s top-two hopes

IPL 2017 | Second string Mumbai end KKR’s top-two hopes

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Mumbai Indians completed a double over the Knight Riders with a second string team, beating the hosts by 9 runs at the Eden Gardens. Ambati Rayudu (63) and Saurabh Tiwary (52) had set Kolkata a target of 173 but, in reply, KKR could only muster 164 runs after losing wickets on regular occasions.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 173/5 ( Ambati Rayudu 63, Saurabh Tiwary 52; Trent Boult 2/30, Ankit Rajpoot 1/14) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 164/8 (Manish Pandey 59, Colin de Grandhomme 29; Vinay Kumar 2/31, Hardik Pandya 2/22) by 9 runs.  

In a rain-delayed match, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and keeping the dew factor in mind decided to bowl first. Kolkata’s one change, Trent Boult for Chris Woakes, was dwarfed by the SIX that Mumbai made with Ambati Rayudu, Saurabh Tiwary, Krunal Pandya, Vinay Kumar, Tim Southee, and Mitchell Johnson all coming back into the team.

Sharma and Tiwary steady rocking Mumbai ship

Boult made the most of the opportunity that he had been awarded by dismissing the dangerous Lendl Simmons as early as the third over restricting the visitors to just 18/1 after three overs. Even though the pitch was assisting the pacers, the Mumbai duo of Saurabh Tiwary and Rohit Sharma were finding the gaps well and 12 runs off an Umesh Yadav overtook the score to a respectable 51/1 at the end of the powerplay. Sharma, in particular, appeared to be in good nick as he reached 27 off just 20 balls before being trapped by Ankit Rajpoot. Although two batsmen were already back in the hut, Mumbai were in a good position at the halfway point with 79 runs on the board. 

Tiwary and Rayudu get Mumbai to a par score

After the 10-over mark, however, it was a completely different story as Rayudu, playing his first match after his injury layoff, and Tiwary were finding it difficult to up the run rate. The duo could only manage 26 runs in the next 4 overs as KKR took control of the game. But Tiwary was unaffected through all this and hit Sunil Narine for two consecutive boundaries to bring up his first fifty on his season debut. Rayudu, too, shifted gears to hit Umesh Yadav for 10 runs off two balls to ease the pressure on his team. However, a mixup between the Mumbai players ended with Tiwary making the long walk back to the dressing room. But Rayudu, playing with a lot of assurance, completed his half-century in style with a six over deep backward square as Boult leaked 18 runs in the over. Even though Rayudu and Pollard were dismissed in the last two overs, Mumbai managed to reach a defendable score of 173.

Mumbai halt KKR’s fast start

Everyone and his pet dog knew that how dangerous Sunil Narine could be once he got going. And just like the doctor ordered, Tim Southee dismissed the pinch hitter for naught on the fourth ball of the first over to get Mumbai off to a perfect start. Gambhir and the big-hitting Chris Lynn, though, scored 30 off the next two overs. But that was just about as good as it got for Kolkata with Gambhir and Robin Uthappa falling in consecutive overs before Lynn, too, was sent packing as the home side were wobbling at 62 with four batsmen back in the dressing room. The incoming Yusuf Pathan signaled his intent early by racing to a 20 off just 6 balls before a mistimed shot to Hardik Pandya at long-on brought an end to his important cameo. Kolkata still looked like favorites, needing just 82 off 60 balls, but the wicket column would have given the table-toppers some hope as the scoreboard reflected a score of 92/5 at the midway point.

Pandey’s efforts in vain as KKR end up in eliminator

Colin de Grandhomme came out to bat and showed Pathan Sr how it was supposed to be done with a couple of boundaries in a row - one square of third man, one fine. Pandey was happy to just rotate the strike to the Kiwi, who was timing the ball beautifully as he brought the required run rate down to just 6.85 with seven overs to go. But in the true IPL manner, Mitchell Johnson bowled a brilliant over giving away just 2 runs before Pandya cleaned out de Grandhomme to end the 16-ball 29 innings. Following the wicket, KKR went into their shell that resulted in the required run rate rising to 9.75. But Southee leaked 14 runs in the 17th over to put KKR back in the driving seat. With the fortunes fluctuating heavily, Rohit Sharma brought Pandya back into the attack and it proved to be a masterstroke as not only did the youngster claim the wicket of Pandey but conceded just four runs. The 21 required off the last two overs proved to be nine runs too far for the hosts as they failed to secure a top-two spot on the table. The result now means that KKR would have to play the eliminator against either SRH or RPS based on the result of tomorrow’s match between Pune and Punjab.

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