Kolkata Knight Riders 159 for 3 (Tripathi 74*, Iyer 53, Bumrah 3-42) beat Mumbai Indians 155 for 6 (de Kock 55, Rohit 33, Ferguson 2/27, Narine 1/20) by seven wickets
Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma had said before the start of the 34th match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 between his side and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) that he doesn't believe in records and in T20 cricket, the side that delivers their best on the given day usually triumphs.
Well, that's what happened eventually at the end of Thursday's game.
Even though MI led KKR by 22-6 in terms of victories, KKR made it 7 in Thursday's game in what was a brilliant turnaround for the Eoin Morgan-led side as they pulled off an upset against 5-time champions of the coveted league.
And how the tables have turned. Mumbai Indians have suffered two consecutive defeats since the second phase commenced, first against the indomitable Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and now against KKR. Kolkata, on the other hand, have won two straight games in the same phase, first they demolished Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and now they have overrun the side led by arguably the second-most powerful person in Indian cricket, Rohit Sharma.
To cut the story short, KKR have moved from number 7 in the IPL points table at the start of the second phase to number 4 and MI have slipped from number 4 to number 6.
The biggest blockbuster in India is unfolding and how!
Captain Morgan calls the shots from ball one
It was brilliant captaincy on display by Eoin Morgan as he used his spinners exceedingly well in the initial overs and threw in a surprise by opening proceedings by giving part-time off-break bowler Nitish Rana an opportunity at word go.
Even though Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock combined well to produce a partnership of 78 for the first wicket in 9.2 overs, they were never let off the hook with the exception of de Kock who did free his arm against the Kolkata pacers. De Kock scored 55 runs with four fours and three sixes and Rohit scored 33 runs with four fours. With his innings of 33 runs, Rohit Sharma completed his 1000 runs against KKR.
The eventual player-of-the-match Sunil Narine was at his usual best as he produced figures of 4-0-20-1 while Varun Chakravarthy may have went wicketless but didn't let down his fans on the Economy Rate (ER) front by completing his spell with an ER of 5.50.
In fact, passionate fans of KKR may argue that Morgan could have used Rana more as in the final analysis, MI batters scored 47 runs from 9 overs of spin bowled by KKR as against amassing 108 runs from 11 overs of pace.
Narine gave the breakthrough in the beginning with the dismissal of Rohit Sharma in the 10th over of the game. He dismissed the Hitman on 33 runs.
Ferguson bowled an excellent last over in which he conceded only six runs and took the wicket of Krunal Pandya and dangerous batter Kieran Pollard who got run out while stealing an extra run from the fielder on the second ball of the over.
MI were eventually restricted to 155/6, much below the par score of 180 for this pitch.
It would be fair to say that Kolkata Knight Riders made an impact in the middle overs with the help of Lockie Ferguson’s spell who looked the best seamer with figures of 2/27. Prasidh Krishna was disappointing as he returned figures of 2/43 and Andre Russell was taken to the cleaners as he ended with 0/37 from his 3 overs.
Academic extravagance by Venkatesh Iyer and Calculative assault by Rahul Tripathi blows away MI
The second-half of the game witnessed a magnificent spectacle from Indore-born Venkatesh Rajasekaran Iyer, who is a B.Com & MBA in Finance and who declined a job offer in one of the "Big Four" consulting firms - Deloitte - to pursue a career in cricket.
Venkatesh Iyer scored an ebullient 53 off 30 deliveries at a herculean strike rate of 176.66 with 4 fours and 3 sixes, hitting the experienced seamer Trent Boult out of the park twice in a single over. He was ably assisted by Shubman Gill in the beginning who scored 13 from nine deliveries.
The seasoned IPL batter Rahul Tripathi came in at number three and matched Iyer in the pace of scoring and scored a 42-ball 74*. His knock contained 8 hits to the fence and three wallops beyond the boundary.
While chasing a target of 156 runs, Kolkata Knight Riders chased down the target in the 16th over with seven wickets remaining. After Shubman’s dismissal, Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer took it from there and built up an aggressive partnership of 88 runs in just 52 balls.
The Mumbai Indians bowling is said to be one of the best bowling line-ups in IPL 2021 which comprises Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Adam Mline and Rahul Chahar. But on Thursday, all the three batters - Tripathi, Iyer and Gill - demolished the bowling line-up with their attacking approach. All the Mumbai bowlers were expensive in today's match, but Bumrah was the only bowler to take the wickets of Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer and their captain Eoin Morgan.
After this win, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indian are level on eight points, but as KKR have better net run rate than Mumbai Indians, KKR have moved to the top-half of the table and MI has slipped down to the lower half of the points table of IPL 2021.
1) Sunil Narine dismissed him for the seventh time in the IPL so far. Except Narine, there are three other bowlers who have dismissed batters in IPL for the same number of times: Zaheer Khan to MS Dhoni, Sandeep Sharma to Virat Kohli and Amit Mishra to Rohit Sharma.
2) Dinesh Kartik has become the first wicket-keeper to grab 115 catches in Indian Premier League so far. The other wicket-keepers who are below him are MS Dhoni with 114 catches and Naman Ojha & Parthiv Patel with 65 catches.
The 35th encounter of the 14th edition of Indian Premier League is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 25, 2021 between MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings and Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
This will be the first match to be played at this venue in the second leg of IPL 2021. This fixture is supposed to be a high-scoring game as the ground dimensions are very small and both the teams have some big names in their squad who can smash the ball out of the ground with ease.
Twitter Reactions: KKR beat MI by 7 wickets
Kolkata Knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in 34th game of IPL 2021. KKR move to top 4 in points table and Mumbai slip to 6. KKR have been winning big from the past two games. KKR's NRR is way better than Mumbai Indians courtesy Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi's quick fifties. Fans and Cricket pundit went crazy as KKR upset Mumbai Indians. Here are some of the finest Twitter reactions between MIvsKKR:
A lot of fans and cricket experts praise the young Venkatesh Iyer on his fearless approach against Mumbai Indians.