In their first home game of the season, Mumbai Indians chased down 178 after opting to field first against the Kolkata Knight Riders, and maintained their enviable win record against the latter in the tournament.
Extra Cover: Pandya fires again to secure Mumbai victory
KKR posted a competitive total after a superb effort with the bat from Manish Pandey, who scored a quick-fire 81, to post 178, after a collapse in the middle overs. The total seemed like a good one after MI had a few hiccups in their chase, but Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya starred for Mumbai Indians and won with a ball to spare.
Here’s a rating of the players’ performances in the match:
Kolkata Knight Riders
Manish Pandey – 9
Manish Pandey came into bat, following the dismissals of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa in quick succession. Chris Lynn fell a couple of overs later and Pandey was left with the responsibility of rebuilding the innings and ensuring KKR got to a competitive score to defend against a dangerous Mumbai Indians batting line-up on a batting track.
He went about his business in style, shrugging off his recent lean form to score an unbeaten 47-ball 81, in spite of limited support from the other end. In fact, Pandey scored 31 of his runs in a 34-run 7th partnership with Sunil Narine.
Chris Lynn – 7
Lynn, the Big Bash star, was the centre of attention after his hard-hitting, unbeaten 41-ball 93* against the Gujarat Lions. Though Lynn is a world-renowned T20 specialist and has featured briefly in previous IPL seasons, his skills were largely unseen to the Indian public.
Prior to the match, much of MI’s strategy would have revolved around tackling Lynn. Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga returned to strengthen MI’s bowling. But, Lynn was comfortable during his breezy knock of 35, continuing from where he left off in the last game, before being trapped in front by Bumrah. He suffered a terrible fall on the field while making a valiant attempt for a catch and KKR would hope he is fit to continue his good run of form.
Sunil Narine – 7
The significance of a tidy bowling spell may go unnoticed in a high-scoring game, especially if the bowler is on the losing side. In a game in which most of the bowlers leaked runs at a rate of 8 or more per over, Narine completed his quota of 4 overs and gave away a meagre 22 runs, picking up the key wicket of Rohit Sharma, albeit a controversial umpiring error. With the rest of the KKR bowling going for plenty, Narine’s was a saving grace in the defence of the score.
Kuldeep Yadav – 5
Kuldeep bowled well in patches, though he went for a few more runs than he would have wanted. Bowling the final over of the Powerplay, the leg spinner began with a tidy five-run over. His next over yielded 13 runs including a couple of boundaries, but, more importantly for KKR, saw him break the 58-run opening stand between Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler. Nitish Rana smashed a four and a six off consecutive deliveries of his last over to spoil his figures.
Ankit Rajpoot – 5
Rajpoot treaded the fine line between hero and villain several times during his quota of 4 overs. He started brilliantly, scalping the key wicket of Buttler and giving just a solitary run in his first over, but followed it up with a 9-run over in which Krunal Pandya hit him for consecutive fours. He had his revenge off the very first ball of his next over, getting the latter to edge to the keeper. Rajpoot returned to bowl the crucial penultimate over, with 30 more runs to defend.
However, he delivered three full tosses and was dispatched for 19 runs in the over. Rajpoot picked up 3 wickets, but those full-tosses at the crucial stage of the game took the game away from KKR. Minus the costly bad deliveries, he would have earned a better rating for his 3 wickets.
Gautam Gambhir – 4
Gambhir was Lynn’s partner-in-crime during the duo’s record stand in the previous game against the Gujarat Lions, scoring an unbeaten 48-ball 76. Put to bat first at the Wankhede, the left-hander looked good in his brief stay of 19 runs and was involved in a 44-run opening partnership, but threw his wicket away in just the second delivery of Krunal Pandya’s spell.
Suryakumar Yadav – 4
On any other day, Suryakumar Yadav’s short innings of 17 may not seem a significant contribution in the scorecard. But under the circumstances, when someone needed to stay with Manish Pandey, his close to a run-a-ball 17 can be given some due credit. Yadav’s 44-run stand with the latter was the joint-highest partnership of the innings, alongside the Gambhir-Lynn opening stand, and came at a time when KKR was down 87/4 and in danger of being bowled out for a moderate score.
Chris Woakes – 2
Chris Woakes, who had a forgettable outing in the last game, would have hoped to come up with a better performance this time round. However, that was not how it turned out. With the bat, he contributed 9 runs in the end overs, and with the ball, he did not exactly put in an impressive performance. Barring the wicket of Kieron Pollard, Woakes did not have a significant impact in the game.
Robin Uthappa – 0
After not needing to bat in the first game, Uthappa’s poor year with the bat seems to have continued into IPL as his stay was brief in the game. He was dismissed on 4, holing out in the deep and his only other involvement in the game was the catch of Krunal Pandya.
Trent Boult – 0
Much was expected when KKR bought the duo of Trent Boult and Chris Woakes this season. However, they have fallen way below expectations. Trent Boult continued his poor bowling display from the last game, giving away 47 runs in 3.5 overs. So far, his 7.5 overs this season has yielded as many as 87 runs while picking up one wicket.
Yusuf Pathan – 0
Like Uthappa, Yusuf also had no meaningful contribution in the game. He scored 6 with the bat and was not required to bowl his off-spin.
Nitish Rana – 10
Rightfully rewarded with the Player of the Match, Nitish Rana’s fifty was the cornerstone of Mumbai Indians’ chase of 179. Though he would have loved to finish off the match on his own, Rana had done everything to take MI close to the target. Rana’s 29-ball 50 was laced with plenty of strokes, including 5 fours and 3 sixes, as he picked up the right deliveries to attack and kept Mumbai in the hunt.
Krunal Pandya – 9
Krunal Pandya may not have lasted long with the bat, but he delivered crucial wickets with the ball. Introduced in the 5th over of the Powerplay, he first removed Gambhir in just the second delivery of his spell to break a 44-run opening wicket stand. A couple of balls later, he also sent back Uthappa after the Karnataka batsman sliced a slog-sweep into the hands of his brother, Hardik, and ended the over conceding only 4 runs.
The act repeated a few overs later when Yusuf Pathan holed out to Hardik, this time at long-off. In addition to picking up three wickets, he was also economical in his spell, giving away only 24 in his 4 overs. With the bat, Krunal scored 11 off 6 balls.
Hardik Pandya – 9
The younger of the Pandyas was in the thick of the action once again with the bat after his quick cameo against the Rising Pune Supergiant. Though he was not required to bowl, he partnered Rana in MI’s successful chase of the target, scoring an 11-ball 29. When Rana departed in the penultimate over, MI still required 19 from 9 balls, but Pandya finished the match with a flourish with a six off Rajpoot and couple of boundaries off Boult’s final over. He also had two good catches in the deep, to his credit.
Parthiv Patel – 7
Although he does not have big knocks to his name, over the years, Parthiv has been very consistent in giving Mumbai good starts with little cameos. On Sunday, Parthiv once again played his part, scoring 30 and combining with Buttler for a 65-run opening wicket stand.
Jos Buttler – 7
Buttler continued from his brisk innings against the Rising Pune Supergiant and scored 28 runs off 22 balls, before being trapped lbw to Rajput in a contentious decision.
Harbhajan Singh – 6
Harbhajan Singh has been a mainstay in the MI setup for many seasons and has rarely missed a game for them. Therefore, it was surprising when he did not feature in the opening game despite having no injury concerns. However, he returned in this game and continued doing what he is known for in the format, delivering economical spells. Though wicket-less, his spell of 4 overs for 27 runs was a tidy effort on a batting surface.
Kieron Pollard – 4
As a senior player in the squad and an experienced T20 specialist, Pollard ought to have taken responsibility and contributed better in the chase. However, he was dismissed with a run-a-ball 17. Coming off a poor spell in the previous game, Pollard was also not called upon to bowl.
Lasith Malinga – 4
Fresh from an international hat-trick against Bangladesh, Malinga made a quick return to the Mumbai Indians camp. This was not him at his best, but he picked up the wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and Chris Woakes in the end, while conceding 36 runs off his 4 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah – 4
Bumrah had an off day by his own high standards, bowling a spell of 1/39 in his 4 overs. However, he picked up the crucial wicket of an in-form Chris Lynn, who would have otherwise run away with the game with another whirlwind knock.
Rohit Sharma – 0
Unfortunately for Rohit Sharma, his innings at the Wankhede was cut short by poor umpiring. Coming off a long injury layoff, it was a perfect situation for him to play a match-winning innings and lead his team to victory, but he was given lbw off Narine. Replays later showed that, though caught on the crease, he had a big inside edge. Thankfully, the error didn’t prove to be costly as Mumbai Indians successfully chased down the target.
Mitchell McClenaghan – 0
The only other player in the Mumbai Indians’ XI with a zero rating, unlike Rohit Sharma, McClenaghan has himself to blame for his poor display. He conceded an unpardonable 51 runs in his 4 overs and only managed to pick the wicket of Sunil Narine in the end.