Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 152 (Yadav 56, Rohit 43, Russell 5-15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142 for 7 (Rana 57, Gill 33, Chahar 4-27) by 10 runs
It’s not over until it’s over. Mumbai Indians games are definitely not for the faint-hearted. There are ebbs and flows throughout their games.
Chasing 153, KKR did the hard part by not losing many wickets in the middle and taking the game deep with the required run rate never far away from reach but, back-to-back wickets of Nitish Rana (57), Eoin Morgan (7), Shakib Al Hasan (9) followed by some sensational bowling from Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar(4/23), Krunal Pandya(1/13) and Trent Boult turned the game in Mumbai Indians’ favour.
With KKR needing 15 runs off the last 6 balls with Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell on the crease, Mumbai Indians pulled off the game by a margin of 10 runs.
Before this game, out of 27 occasions, Mumbai Indians has had the wood over KKR by beating them 21 times. On Tuesday, the former registered their 22nd win against the latter in some style.
The three talking points around the game:
KKR bowls superbly well
Bowling has been KKR’s strongest suit over the years and, for the last two games, they have been spot on with their bowling tactics. It won’t be wrong to say that they have found their mojo back. Eoin Morgan & Co won their first battle by restricting a team like Mumbai Indians on a below-par 152 total.
We always talk about match-ups in IPL and KKR managed it to perfection by not giving any pace to play with to the Mumbai top-order during the first five overs of the game. All of these five overs were bowled by spinners. IPL veterans Harbhajan Singh (0/17) and Shakib Al Hasan (1/23) and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy (1/27) led the charge of the spin department.
Eoin Morgan didn’t let the batters breathe easy as Pat Cummins held the charge of middle overs. Pat Cummins, one of the world’s best Test bowlers, did what he does best, banging short stuff at Mumbai Indians tirelessly. The wickets of Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma prized out by Cummins in the middle overs was the main turning point as the Mumbai Indians skipper was almost set to shift on to the top gear. He finished with figures of 2/24.
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Mumbai Indians’ batting collapse
Suryakumar Yadav manufactured a 76-run partnership with skipper Rohit Sharma despite the early departure of Quinton De Kock (2). Yadav scored a brilliant half-century, 56 off 36, and steadied the MI innings. Once Rohit (43) fell to Cummins, the MI innings started crumbling.
The strongest suit of Mumbai Indians is becoming their weakest link in the ongoing IPL. For the last two games, they have been let down by their middle-order as they failed to put up a fighting total in these games. Against RCB, they could only pull 24 runs off the last five overs whereas against KKR they managed just 33 runs and on both occasions, they lost more than five wickets in this period.
One of the best hitting duos down the order in the IPL, Kieron Pollard (5) and Hardik Pandya (15) are yet to make their presence felt in the tournament. Both got out cheaply in both the games that let the tail open with more than three overs to play. Mumbai Indians would definitely like to address this issue in their team meetings as a lot depends on these guys as the tournament goes ahead.
Andre Russell’s magical five-wicket haul (5/15)
It was a tactical move by Eoin Morgan to keep Dre Russ fresh for the death overs and he paid the faith back by returning the best bowling figures of his T20 career, 2-0-15-5. Coming on the scene in the 18th over of the game, on the very second ball of his first over, he sent his countryman, the dangerous Kieron Pollard (5) back to the pavilion. Macro Jansen (0) holed out to sweeper cover on the very next delivery, which made it 2 in 2. Unfortunately, he missed out on a much-deserved hat trick.
Krunal Pandya did find some success with two back-to-back boundaries in the next over but Dre Russ had the last laugh as he foxed him with a slower one. Two more wickets of Bumrah and Chahar on alternate deliveries made Russell the second player in the history of the league to take five-for against the mighty Mumbai Indians. The other one is Harshal Patel who wreaked havoc against MI in the opening game.
Questions to answer?
Is it time for Mumbai Indians to look beyond Macro Jensen? He is yet to prove himself with the bat whereas Nathan Coulter-Nile could be a better option to explore as he is an experienced bowler plus batter. Coulter-Nile has got three List A fifties against his name.
What should be the ideal position for Shakib al Hasan? Last game he came at 7, today he came at 5. Given his reputation, Rahul Tripathi can be handy down the order and Shakib could come at 3 for steadying the innings.
What lies ahead?
Mumbai Indians will play their third game against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue on April 17. Mumbai would definitely intend to address the death over the scoring issue in the coming games.
KKR has ticked most of the boxes and would look to replicate this going forward. They would still want to address their match finishing capabilities and come strongly against Virat Kohli-led RCB on April 18.
1. Dinesh Karthik completes his 150 Dismissals in IPL history.
2. Andre Russell became the 2nd bowler to take a five-for against MI.
3. Nitish Rana scored his 13th IPL half-century.