The highly-anticipated virtual semi-final between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) turned out to be a rather damp squib. After being put in to bat first KKR never looked themselves as they struggled to gain any momentum against the clinical MI bowlers.
The Gautam Gambhir-led side fought back to an extent after losing five quick wickets courtesy some sensible batting from Suryakumar Yadav and Ishank Jaggi. But the fightback was cut short by a brilliant catch by Mitchell Johnson at long-on, following which MI bundled out KKR for a paltry total of 107.
You can watch the brilliant effort by Mitchell Johnson here
When and how?
It was the 15th over of KKR’s innings and Karn Sharma, who was in the middle of a brilliant spell, had the ball in hand. After having claimed three important wickets already, the leg-spinner kept tossing it up generously, enticing the batsmen to go for their shots.
Off the fifth bowl of the over, Jaggi, who was batting on 28, saw a flighted delivery and danced down the pitch to launch it into the stands. While the intention was understandable considering the run rate, Jaggi failed to read the length and got too close to the ball. He did make decent connection with the ball and it looked for a moment as though it would carry over the ropes. But there was only one problem and that happened to be in the form of Mitchell Johnson.
The former Australian international who claims to be 35, leapt high and snatched it out of thin air to deny Jaggi six runs and KKR any hope of getting to a respectable total. He had initially misjudged the pace of the ball and took a few steps forward but was smart enough to adjust in time to take the important catch that reduced KKR to 86 for 6.
Following their dismal power play, KKR had found saviours in Yadav and Jaggi who took their time initially but managed to score boundaries to keep MI on their toes. But Jaggi’s dismissal came just as KKR were getting ready to launch.
Yadav and Jaggi put on an impressive partnership of 56 runs for the sixth wicket. On a sluggish Bangalore wicket, anything above 130 would have given KKR a good chance. And while both these batsmen were at the crease, it looked very much on the cards.
But Jaggi’s untimely dismissal put the brakes on the run flow and also meant Yadav had to do the bulk of the scoring. That put enough pressure on the youngster who soon threw his wicket away.
MI then overcame a brief scare early in their innings to chase down the total. It was Krunal Pandya who batted KKR out of the game with his counter-attacking innings (45* off 30 balls). Following this convincing win, MI will be up against a high-on-confidence RPS side in the grand finale.