Abu Dhabi: Half-centuries by Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer after tight bowling from teammates Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna (two wickets each) helped Kolkata Knight Riders outplay defending champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in match 34 of IPL 2021 here on Thursday.
This was KKR’s first win over the defending champions in five matches and second in 13 games.
Opting to bowl first, KKR bowlers got their act together after conceding 56 runs in the first six overs to restrict Mumbai at 155/6 in 20 overs.
Chasing the on-par total, Venkatesh Iyer (53 runs off 30 balls) and Shubman Gill (13 off 9) scored at a canter to score 40 runs off the first three overs, including two sixes off Trent Boult in the first over. Shubman was then castled by Jasprit Bumrah (3/43) at the end of the third over but that didn’t stop the run flow as Iyer continued smashing bowlers all over the park.
He was joined by equally aggressive Rahul Tripathi (74* off 42) with the next seven over yielding 71 runs, laced with seven boundaries and three maximums, to take KKR to 111/1 in 10 overs.
Both Iyer and Tripathi respectively reached their fifty in the next two overs with the latter smashing Bumrah for a six and a four to reach his milestone. The Indian pacer then earned himself another consolation by removing Iyer at 53.
Tripathi then took charge of the chase with Eoin Morgan (7 off 8) and Nitish Rana (5* off 2) being silent partners at the other end for the second and the third wickets respectively. The winning run deservingly came off Tripathi’s bat in a boundary as KKR chased down the target with 29 balls to spare.
Earlier in the first innings, MI skipper Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Quinton de Kock took a good measure of KKR bowlers by clobbering 56 runs in the powerplay.
The duo went on to hit seven boundaries and three sixes during a 78-run opening stand, including two consecutive sixes by De Kock in the same over off Krishna.
The breakthrough for KKR didn’t come until the 10th over when experienced spinner Sunil Narine oversaw a soft dismissal of Rohit for 33.
Suryakumar Yadav (5 off 10) followed the skipper back to the dugout 2 overs later as he fell to Krishna with boundaries drying up for MI.
De Kock soon reached his half-century eventually smashing the team’s first boundary in 33 deliveries but couldn’t continue for long as Krishna removed the South African in the 15th over for 55 (42).
Krishna then picked his second victim of the night in Ishan Kishan (14 off 13), leaving MI in a spot of bother at 119/4.
However, a 15-ball 21 by Kieron Pollard added some strength to MI total by taking them close to 150. But A tight last over from Ferguson with four runs and two wickets — of Pollard and Krunal Pandya (12 off 9) — halted MI innings at 155/6. Saurabh Tiwary (5 off 2) and Adam Milne (1 off 1) remained at the crease at the end of the innings.