IPL 2023, Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Venkatesh Iyer's 104, Ishan Kishan's 58 and Suryakumar Yadav-Tilak Varma's 60-run stand are top performances. Mumbai Indians beat KKR and better SRH NRR in the table; move to 7th spot.
Brief Scores: MI 186/5 (Kishan 58, Surya 43, Suyash 2-27) beat KKR 185/6 (Iyer 104, Russell 21*, Shokeen 2-34) by 5 wickets.
Player of the Match: Venkatesh Iyer (104 off 51)
Mumbai Indians looked to start a winning streak when they returned to their fortress Wankhede Stadium to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in an afternoon game on Sunday. With a win in 3 game, MI stand in the 9th spot in the points table while KKR are in the 5th position after winning 2 out of their 4 games.
In the 31 games played between the sides before this contest, MI has been the dominant side winning 22 of those. MI’s stronghold continued over KKR as the home team stormed to a 2nd win of this season by 5 wickets with more than 2 overs to spare.
Mumbai Indians went into the game without their regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who missed it owing to an illness. Suryakumar Yadav led the side in his absence as a skipper and MI handed over debuts Arjun Tendulkar and Duan Jansen, while KKR have gone with a same team.
Having been called to bat first, KKR lost their opener Narayan Jagadesan for a duck to Cameron Green. While the struggling Rahmanullah Gurbaz perished trying to be aggressive to spinner Piyush Chawla who bowled an outstanding spell of 1/18 in his 4. But all this while Venkatesh Iyer looked like batting on a different track altogether.
KKR made 57 for the loss of 2 wickets of which Venkatesh scored 39 himself, the left-hander reached half-century in only 23 balls and by the time KKR team score read 100, Iyer was already into his 70s. The visiting continued to lose wickets, but the left-hander continued to strike big as he reached his maiden IPL century in just 49 deliveries, a first century by a KKR batsman in 15 years after 158 scored by Brendon McCullum way back in 2008.
Despite Iyer’s brilliant 104 off only 51 balls, rest of batters found it difficult to get going losing wickets at regular intervals and a few lusty blows from Andre Russell got them to a score of 185/6. But KKR would feel they might be few runs’ short, especially after that stunning knock by Iyer.
Chasing a big total, MI opted to bring in skipper Rohit Sharma as their impact player and he along with his opening partner Ishan Kishan made a real impact. The latter especially was severe on the KKR bowlers Shardul Thakur and Sunil Narine taking them for 16 & 22 runs respectively. As a result, MI brought their 50 in only the 4th over and despite Rohit getting out on 13-ball 20, the hosts reached 72/1 in the powerplays.
And the keeper-batsman Kishan (58) continued to play is strokes as he brought up his maiden fifty of this season in only 21 deliveries, but Varun Chakravarthy ended his 25-ball exciting stay at the crease which included 5 fours and as many sixes.
Things didn’t slow down for MI as the pair of stand-in skipper Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma took the chase forward. Surya showed a glimpse of his true class after a string of failures by smashing 3 sixes in his knock of 43 from 25 balls and Tilak chipped in with a crucial 25-ball 30. The pair’s 60-run stand form 38 balls and a powerful cameo from Tim David (23* from 12) took MI to their 2nd win of the tournament by 5 wickets.
Talking Points MI vs KKR
Mumbai Indians' strong batting line-up finally showed their full potential in this IPL with their top-4 all making significant contributions. This is a good sign for the 5-time champs and at the same time it is a matter of caution for the rest. With this mindset, MI can demolish any bowling attack in the tournament.
The other major positive for MI is the form of Suryakumar Yadav who seems to back to his normal best. He was much more confident in stroke play when he returned to bat at his preferred no.3 position.
Let us scan the top performances in the IPL 2023 game between MI and KKR
Venkatesh Iyer slams the 2nd century by an KKR batter in the 16th edition of IPL
It was a game of 2 halves at the Wankhede when the KKR batting innings was unfolding as it looked like Venkatesh Iyer was batting on a different surface and it was him against the Mumbai Indians bowlers. He reached his half-century when KKR’s total had just crossed 75 and he brought up his century in the 17th over, KKR’s total read only 151. Such was the struggle from the rest of the batters and in the innings, KKR scored 10 sixes of which 9 came of the bat of Venkatesh Iyer apart from the 6 fours.
Iyer scored 104 of the 185 runs made by KKR in the first innings and the rest could manage only 81 off the 69 legitimate balls.
Ishan Kishan’s blistering knock floor KKR
Ishan Kishan looked in decent touch in this IPL with scores of 31, 32 in the last 2 outings but a big score was missing. The opener made a real impact in this game by denting the KKR’s confidence inside the powerplays. He smashed 2 fours and six in the over of Shardul before taking Narine down for 2 more sixes. His efforts help MI bring their fifty in just 23 balls while bringing his own half-century off a mere 21 deliveries. Kishan’s impressive knock of 58 included 5 sixes and it just about sealed the game for his team.
Surya and Tilak’s 60-run took away any chances of a KKR comeback
Tilak Varma joined his skipper Suryakumar Yadav when MI score read 87/2 after 7.3 overs. While it seems a straightforward chase with MI needing 98 more runs in about 75 deliveries and the pair seemingly got close to the target without much fuss.
While Tilak played at his fluent best scoring a six and a four to start his knock, SKY looked at getting back to usual ways by slamming pacers Lockie Ferguson and Andre Russell for towering maximums. The pair brought up their 50-run stand in 30 balls and took MI on the cusp of their 2nd win of this IPL.
What’s Next and points table
Mumbai, despite a win, still languish at 8th spot with their next match slated to happen on the 18th of April in Hyderabad. KKR, on the other hand, slumped to their 2nd straight defeat with their next away game scheduled against the bottom placed Delhi Capitals on the 20th of April.