Mumbai Indians 134 for 1 (Rohit 55*, Suryakumar 46*, Prasidh 1-22) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 133 for 7 (Lynn 41, Malinga 3-35, Hardik 2-20) by nine wickets
Skillful bowling from the Pandya brothers and sensible batting from Mumbai Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma launched them to No.1 on the points table, setting up a mouth-watering clash against Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier at Chepauk on Tuesday.
The result knocked out Kolkata Knight Riders and put Sunrisers Hyderabad in the playoffs. Despite their defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, Sunrisers will now face Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
Asked to bat first on a slower-than-usual Wankhede track, Knight Riders stuttered to 133 for 7 with Robin Uthappa’s go-slow encapsulating their struggles. Hardik Pandya was Rohit’s fifth-bowling option on Sunday, but he made the biggest impact by dismissing Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill in back-to-back overs. At the other end, Krunal Pandya kept cramping batsmen for room and although he ended wicketless he was also central to Mumbai’s smothering of Knight Riders.
Rohit then led the chase with a measured half-century, sounding out a warning to Super Kings, whom they have beaten five times in seven matches at Chepauk.
#Lynnsanity hits Wankhede
When Sunil Narine was his opening partner, Chris Lynn often took a backseat and worked his way into the innings, which wasn’t quite his strong suit. Since Shubman Gill was bumped up to the top, Lynn has bashed his way to three successive forty-plus scores, the latest being his 41 off 29 balls on Sunday. With the ball coming onto the bat in the early exchanges, Lynn simply did his thing: he cleared his front leg and smote sixes. After rattling the seamers, he imperiously launched legspinner Rahul Chahar twice into the stands beyond long-off. Knight Riders were 49 for 0 after the end of the Powerplay – and Lynn alone had contributed 38 to that score.
Make way for the Pandya brothers
Then, just like that, Hardik struck with his first ball – a slower one that trapped Gill for 9. In his next over, he hung up an offcutter wide of off and asked Lynn to manufacture the pace for himself. All he could do was to top-edge it into the hands of Quinton de Kock behind the stumps. In the four overs the Pandya brothers bowled in tandem, they conceded just 12 runs with Hardik dismissing both the in-form KKR openers. Mitchell McClenaghan, much like Hardik, took pace off the ball and bowled a maiden over to Uthappa.
Uthappa kept helplessly swishing and missing outside off – and even left Krunal outside off – in a passage of play that lacked intensity according to Knight Riders’ coach Jacques Kallis. Dinesh Karthik, who had promoted himself ahead of the side’s MVP Andre Russell, was then caught at short midwicket, thanks to Krunal’s athletic intervention. In the same over, Lasith Malinga ventured around the wicket and bounced out Russell for a golden duck.
In isolation Uthappa took Jasprit Bumrah for a brace of boundaries, but he could barely go at a run a ball. Nitish Raina was more fluent and moved to 26 off 13 balls before holing out in the 18th over. Bumrah was back to his usual self in the final over and he closed out the innings with the wickets of Uthappa (40 off 47 balls) and Rinku Singh (4 off 6 balls).
Russell’s evening went from bad to worse when de Kock and Rohit hit 21 runs off his first over, including two fours and two sixes. Prasidh Krishna then stopped a rampaging de Kock in his tracks, when he drew a top edge that was snaffled by Karthik running back and diving across to his right.
Rohit would be unstoppable, though. He didn’t take any undue risks – he didn’t need to – and just knocked the ball into the gaps. He raised his second half-century of the season off 44 balls when he punched Harry Gurney to sweeper cover in the 15th over. With the asking rate dropping to under six, Suryakumar Yadav also had the luxury of taking his own sweet time to find some form. But from 19 off 17 balls, he zoomed to 46 off 27 balls to seal Knight Riders’ fate. Mumbai wrapped up the victory with nine wickets and 23 balls to spare.