MI skipper Rohit Sharma (49-ball 68 not out) and Kieron Pollard (17-ball 51, 2x4s, 6x6s) provided the entertainment as the hosts chased down Kolkata Knight Riders’ 174-5 in just 18 overs with six wickets in hand. Pollard ensured the Mumbai fans left on a high, hitting three sixes off Jaydev Unadkat to finish off the game in style.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma pulls one en route his unbeaten 68 against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Rohit and Ambati Rayudu (32 off 20 balls) steadied Mumbai Indians’ innings after they lost opener Parthiv Patel for just one off the first ball of KKR’s second over.
Rayudu on a roll
Rayudu was the aggressor as he smashed India pacer Jaydev Unadkat for three consecutive fours. However, Shakib Al Hasan was successful in removing Rayudu with a neat catch off Suryakamar Yadav at long-on.
Mumbai Indians batsman Kieron Pollard (L) celebrates with captain Rohit Sharma after beating KKR by 6 wickets. Pic/ AFP
All-rounder Krunal Pandya (6) had an off day, but Rohit and Jos Buttler (15) put MI back on track. Buttler complemented Rohit well as the MI skipper brought up his fourth half-century in four chases in this IPL tournament.
Buttler was done-in by a brilliant catch by Chris Lynn at long-off. The England batsman understandably left the ground stunned.
Pollard’s three towering sixes off R Sathish in his second over then brought the MI fans to their feet as the hosts claimed 23 runs off it bringing the equation down to 26 off 24 balls.
Mumbai Indians bowler Mitchell McClenaghan (R) celebrates after taking the wicket of Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir as Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Suryakumar Yadav looks on. Pic/PTI
Earlier, to avoid the dew factor at the Wankhede Stadium, MI skipper Rohit opted to field after winning the toss.
Mitchell McClenaghan almost sent KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir back in the dugout early, when he was on eight, but fumbled an easy catch off his own bowling.
Gambhir made the most out of his second chance and, along with opening partner Robin Uthappa, took 17 runs off Tim Southee’s second over.
Uthappa’s fine touch was evident from the two sixes he hit — one off Jasprit Bumrah which sailed over mid-on, and the other off Harbhajan Singh over midwicket.
Uthappa survived a stumping on 35, courtesy some sloppy work behind the stumps by Parthiv Patel off Harbhajan’s bowling. However, two balls later, he ran out of luck.
Gambhir continued to smash the MI bowlers around the park effortlessly. He brought up his third half-century of IPL-9 with a six followed by a four off Hardik Pandya.
Gambhir and local lad Suryakumar Yadav continued to maul the Mumbai Indians’ attack.
However, McClenaghan soon dismissed Gambhir with a bouncer, after which Southee removed Yadav (21).
A late surge from Andre Russell (22), Yusuf Pathan (8-ball 19 not out) and Chris Lynn (10), and two consecutive dropped catches by Southee at midwicket, helped KKR add some valuable runs and post 174-5 off their 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Parthiv Patel, Ambati Rayudu, Krunal Pandya, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf
Pathan, Andre Russell, Rajagopal Sathish, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Jaydev Unadkat.