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IPL 2023: MI fly high

Updated on: 17 April,2023 07:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
SS Ramaswamy |

Venkatesh Iyer’s maiden IPL century goes in vain for KKR after opener Ishan Kishan (58) and stand-in skipper Suryakumar Yadav (43) help Mumbai Indians chase 186 with 14 balls to spare

IPL 2023: MI fly high

Ishan Kishan in full flow against KKR at Wankhede yesterday; Venkatesh Iyer hits out at Wankhede yesterday and Arjun Tendulkar makes a long-awaited IPL debut for MI v KKR. Pics/Ashish Raje, AFP

Venkatesh Iyer smacked a blazing maiden IPL century, 104 in just 51 balls sprinkled with nine sixes and six fours, but ended on the losing side as hosts Mumbai Indians (MI) overhauled Kolkata Knight Riders total of 185-6 with five wickets and 14 balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Knight Riders’ Iyer was in punishing form even while hobbling after he was hit on his right knee by speedster and MI debutant Duan Jansen in the second over of the innings after smoking another debutant Arjun Tendulkar over the straight field in the opening over.

Iyer in pain

He had slashed Jansen for a six over third man for his second six before he tried an ambitious ramp shot off the South African only to be hit on his right knee. He was in some pain for which he got on-field medical attention.

Iyer was struggling to run singles thereafter and then went into overdrive by targeting MI bowlers for a spate of sixes and fours on his way to a blistering and maiden IPL hundred in his third season playing in the T20 League.

Andre Russell’s 21 not out off 11 balls was the second-best contribution for KKR, but their final tally was not enough to trouble the hosts who rocketed off to a blazing start and never looked behind.

MI opener Ishan Kishan struck five fours and as many sixes in his 25-ball 58 while putting on 65 for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma (20) who came out to bat as the impact player after being off the field when KKR batted.

The move to make Suryakumar Yadav as the stand-in skipper for the day proved a master stroke as the World’s No. 1 ranked T20 batter, who has struggled for runs of late, played an important knock of 43 in 25 balls to put MI on the victory path.

Suryakumar added 60 runs for the third wicket with in-form Tilak Varma (30) to help MI to a comprehensive victory, their second in four games, which they achieved by making 186 for five in 17.4 overs, with Tim David (24 not out) and Cameron Green (one not out) at the crease.

Leg spinner Suyash Sharma was the most impressive for KKR in their second straight defeat as he grabbed the wickets of both Rohit and Varma in his 2-27 haul.

The first half of the match, however, belonged to KKR’s 28-year-old Indore-born Iyer who came to national attention with his batting heroics when IPL’s second half was moved to UAE due to the COVID pandemic in 2021.

Also read: MI vs KKR highlights: SKY soars high at Wankhede as Mumbai clinch second win on the trot

Iyer looked at ease when he lofted Jansen for two straight field sixes in the fifth over and then hit Riley Meredith for two successive sixes to help Knight Riders race to 90 at the halfway stage. The visitors were 57-2 at the end of Powerplay 1.

He clobbered Meredith for two more sixes in consecutive balls and then smacked Jansen over long leg with nonchalant ease. His pyrotechnics got him the player of the match award although he finished on the losing side.

Crucial stand with Shardul

Iyer also put on a 50-run stand with Shardul Thakur for the fourth wicket in 28 balls, and pulled Meredith for his ninth and last maximum on his way to his 100 off just 49 balls.

Iyer, who has figured in a handful of white ball matches for the country without much success, was finally out to a reverse sweep in the 18th over with the Knights’ score on 159.

The visitors added only 26 runs after his departure in 16 balls that proved less than adequate in the end. 

Brief scores
KKR 185-6 in 20 overs (V Iyer 104; H Shokeen 2-34) lost to MI 186-5 in 17.4 overs (I Kishan 58, S Yadav 43, T Varma 30; S Sharma 2-27) by five wickets

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