Mumbai Indians inched closer to a play-offs berth with a 65-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders’ in the Pepsi Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium last night.
In contrast, defending champions KKR’s qualifying chances appear very slim.
Mumbai have now won all their six matches at Wankhede this season and also continued their dominance over KKR, winning 10 matches out of 12 over six editions of the tournament.
Chasing MI’s 170-6, the defending champions slumped to 105 in 18.2 overs. Yesterday’s win helped Mumbai, who are on 16 points with eight wins in 12 matches, dislodge Rajasthan Royals from second spot on better net run rate.
Nothing seemed to go KKR’s way as they first messed up in the bowling department and then batted poorly. Mitchell Johnson was once again successful in getting an early breakthrough for Mumbai with the wicket of KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir (0). Jacques Kallis (24) and Manvinder Bisla (17) then got into damage control mode, before left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha struck on the first ball of his second over to end the 37-run partnership.
Yusuf Pathan played a couple of top shots, but couldn’t last long as he was scalped by Ojha for 13. Kallis fell in the next over to Harbhajan Singh at long-off. Harbhajan was the pick of the bowlers for MI, claiming three for 27 in his four overs. Ojha claimed two for 23, but Johnson was the most impressive, conceding only 13 runs in four overs and claiming two wickets.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians’ opening duo Sachin Tendulkar (48) and Dwayne Smith (47) seemed to have swapped their roles. Until now, Smith was the aggressor while Tendulkar played the role of anchor. But yesterday, Tendulkar attacked mercilessly while Smith played second fiddle.
BEST to the rescue
The match at Wankhede Stadium was stopped for around 15 minutes after the halogen lights working on a generator tripped off. Confirming the same, an official from BEST, on anonymity said: “The halogen lights work on the power supplied by a generator. The lights suddenly tripped off during the match. We got a call immediately from Wankhede. The exact reason for the failure is not known. Later, we provided them with electricity after which the match started.”