Kolkata Knight Riders virtually sealed a playoff berth with a 32-run win over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League fifth edition yesterday.
The visitors hardly allowed Mumbai Indians to free their arms as they successfully defended their 140-7 total at the Wankhede Stadium. West Indian Sunil Narine, who became the purple cap holder, was the most impressive with 4-15 in 3.1 overs.
Mumbai Indians, who succumbed to their fifth defeat at home in eight games, have to win their last game against Rajasthan Royals on May 20 to keep their playoff hopes alive. Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs started off cautiously, scoring only 20 in first five overs.
Narine, however, showed why he is rated so highly when he managed to sneak through Tendulkar’s defence with a sharp off-break. There was stunning silence after his departure for 27.
KKR bowlers, particularly L Balaji (2-11) and Narine kept things tight as Mumbai’s batters started to wilt under the pressure of scoring at 12 runs an over after 15 overs. MI could never recover from back-to-back wickets (Pollard and Smith) by Kallis in the 17th over as they eventually folded up for 108.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 140 for seven in 20 overs (Manoj Tiwary 41, Gautam Gambhir 28; R P Singh 2-35)
Mumbai Indians: 108 all out in 19.1 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 27, Dinesh Karthik 20; Sunil Narine 4-15