Chahar, Boult Lead the Charge as MI Win by 10 Runs Against KKR
Suryakumar Yadav & Nitish Rana scored fifties even as most of the other batsmen failed to get going.
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians picked up their first win of IPL 2021 when they saw off the Kolkata Knight Riders, one of their favourite opponents, by 10 runs in Chennai on Tuesday evening.
In a game that saw the momentum swing both ways in different phases, it was the likes of Andre Russell and Rahul Chahar who starred with the ball for their sides. Suryakumar Yadav and Nitish Rana scored stylish half-centuries even as most of the other batsmen failed to get going on a difficult wicket.
Asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians, still looking for their first points this year, had the experience of Harbhajan Singh to deal with first up along with the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarty.
Both Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock found it tough to get going with the South African being the first to depart when he tried to take Chakravarty down-town, holing out to Rahul Tripathi at deep mid-on for 2.
Rohit was joined by the stylish Suryakumar Yadav, who greeted Harbhajan with three boundaries, off which the drive through the covers to round of the over was exquisite. KKR continued with spin as the ace Shakib Al Hasan came into the attack, helping keep the duo of Rohit and Suryakumar on a leash.
Mumbai finished the powerplay with the score at 42/1 after which Prasidh Krishna took a bit of a tonking from Suryakumar, who was hurtling along at good speed, while Rohit kept chipping away at the other end.
Midway through the innings, Suryakumar played what was possibly the best shot of the evening when he picked up Pat Cummins over the leg side and sent it out of the stadium. So good was the hit that it left Hardik Pandya speechless.
Suryakumar however was the next to depart as he looked to attack Shakib’s final over and holed out to Shubman Gill in the deep for 56. Rohit and Suryakumar put on 76 to keep Mumbai in the hunt for a big total.
However, that’s when the momentum started to shift as KKR tightened the screws with Cummins packing of the dangerous Ishan Kishan for 1, leaving MI at 88/3. Hardik and Rohit then attacked Prasidh in his second over but were kept quiet by the spinners at the other one end.
With the final phase rolling on, Morgan turned to Cummins, who responded with the scalp of Rohit Sharma, chopping it onto his stumps for 43 off 32 deliveries.
Off the next over, Hardik greeted Prasidh with a cracking shot over backward point for four before the slower ball got the better off him as Andre Russell completed an easy catch at mid-off. Hardik was dismissed for 15 with Mumbai at 123/5 in the 17th over, struggling to find any real momentum.
Andre Russell then knocked over the dangerous Pollard for 5. One wide later, Russell sent young Marco Jansen (0) packing leaving Mumbai at 126/7.
Krunal Pandya added a quickfire 15 but Russell had him caught at short fine by Prasidh Krishna, before knocking over Jasprit Bumrah. Trent Boult played out the hat-trick ball before Rahul Chahar became Russell’s fifth wicket as MI were skittled out for 152.
Keen to get their second win, KKR started off well with Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana registering their second consecutive fifty-plus partnership this season.
Rana was the aggressor early on as MI’s bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Marco Jansen, kept things in control. KKR managed 45/0 in the powerplay as Gill started to go through the gears with some elegant shots at his end.
With Krunal unable to get the breakthrough, Rohit turned to Rahul Chahar, who got hammered for a six by Gill (33) before dismissing the opener, who was looking another big hit.
Chahar then proceeded to knock over Rahul Tripathi (5) and captain Eoin Morgan (7) off successive overs, to leave KKR in a spot of bother.
Rana (57 off 47 deliveries) however at the other end kept chipping away, finding the gaps and the boundaries with relative ease and going over the top a couple of times too on his way to another half-century.
Chahar though accounted for him as well in his fourth over to finish with 4/27, bringing Mumbai right back into the game, moments after Rohit almost injured his ankle when he bowled an over in between.
Krunal Pandya was called in for the 16th over and he responded immediately with the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan as KKR lost three big wickets for 18 runs, with the score at 122/5. Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came together with 31 needed off 28 deliveries and with Mumbai well and truly in the ascendency.
The normally dynamic duo though could not edge out the defending champions, hitting only one boundary during their stand of 18, which ended with three deliveries to go in the game when Boult dismissed Russell for 9.
Boult then knocked over Pat Cummins off the next delivery for 0 but Harbhajan Singh saw out the hat-trick ball before the Kiwi pacer finished it off with a dot.
Mumbai continue to dominate Kolkata Knight Riders in the process picking up their first win this season.
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