Mumbai Indians are in a class of their own in IPL 2020 as the four-time champions made light work of Kolkata Knight Riders in an eight-wicket victory in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Quinto de Kock (77 runs off 43 balls) — backed by MI skipper Rohit Sharma’s 39 — turned the hero of the top-class performance after Mumbai Indians bowlers triggered a top-order collapse to restrict KKR at 148/5. While Rahul Chahar did most of the damage with two big wickets, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter Nile took a wicket each to choke KKR for runs.
Defending the paltry total, KKR bowling line and length left a lot to be desired and were duly punished by MI openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, who bring forth the 50 by the 6th over. They took a good measure of the KKR bowlers; spewing nine boundaries inside the powerplay.
De Kock took control on the innings after the powerplay as he raced to his third IPL fifty of the season in just 25 balls while Sharma played second fiddle with 35 from the other end.
The South African shot eight boundaries and two sixes in the 94-run stand which was ended by Shivam Mavi in the 11th over. The pacer got the MI skipper caught behind after Sharma shot five boundaries and a six in his innings.
Suryakumar Yadav (10 off 10) followed shortly, but a quickfire knock of 11-ball 21 by Hardik Pandya ensured MI lost no further wickets in the win with 21 balls to spare.
Batting first, KKR’s opening woes continued after Rahul Tripathi (7 off 9) was caught at point immaculately by Suryakumar Yadav in the third over of the innings with just 18 runs on board.
This was soon followed by dismissals of Nitish Rana (5 off 6), opener Shubman Gill (21 off 23) and Dinesh Karthik (4 off 8) as KKR were in deep trouble at 43/4 by the end of eighth over. The latter two were removed by wrist spinner Rahul Chahar off consecutive deliveries in the eighth over while Rana was caught behind of a bouncer by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the sixth over.
More misery awaited the purple-clad men as Andre Russell (12 off 9) fell to his nemesis Jasprit Bumrah, who surprised him with a short delivery. This meant half of the side was back in pavilion as early as 11th over with just 61 runs on the board.
It all came down to new skipper Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins to ensure KKR innings revival and the duo was right on the money for the job.
The duo took the next six overs to take KKR past the 100-mark and aptly paced the innings in the death overs to take KKR to a fighting.
Cummins was the initial aggressor of the stand; hitting 35 runs when the 50 partnership came up in the 18th over. The Aussie all-rounder shot three boundaries and a six while Morgan held on to the other end.
However the run didn’t exactly come until the last two overs when the duo shot 35 runs to take KKR to respectable 148/5, Cummins completing his half century in due process.
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