Normal services continued at the Dream11 IPL as Mumbai Indians [MI] registered their 21st win [in 27 meetings] over Kolkata Knight Riders [KKR] thanks to an eight-wicket hammering in Abu Dhabi. In the process, Mumbai completed their 5th consecutive win in a row in the ongoing season.
Chasing 149, Mumbai Indians got off to a rollicking start thanks to the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, who remained unbeaten at 44-ball 78.
The duo took the attack to the likes of Chris Green, Prasidh Krishna, and Pat Cummins by smashing them for a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay.
Green, however, very nearly got QDK in his 2nd over, after he induced him into mistimed sweep shot, only for Varun Chakravarthy to drop it at short fine-leg.
The duo soon registered another 50-run-stand to end the powerplay at 0-51. Quinton de Kock was in his full elements as he cut, pulls and drove KKR bowlers to all corners of the Zayed ground.
The southpaw smashed Prasidh Krishna for two fours and a six in the 8th over to race to 42 off 20 balls. With MI having raced to 0-71 in 8 overs, skipper Eoin Morgan turned to Andre Russell but de Kock was in that sort of mood that it just didn’t matter, who was bowling. He proceeded to smash Russell for a four and an audacious six to bring up his 3rd fifty in the last 4 games.
Rohit Sharma too stroked some audacious shots during his knock (35 off 36 balls) before Shivam Mavi included an outside edge off his bat to break the 94-run-stand.
SuryaKumar Yadav did not look in his elements today as he struggled to time the ball on what was a slow and sluggish track. The right-hander was eventually dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy for a 10-ball 10 after he failed to connect with a slog sweep, leading to the ball flattening the off-pole.
Quinton de Kock launched Shivam Mavi for a four and six immediately after the second Time-Out to bring the equation down to 23 runs off the last five overs.
And, then Hardik Pandya decided to stamp some of his authority as he smashed Pat Cummins for some of the most flamboyant strokes that you’ll ever see. Hardik leaned forward and presented the face of the bat to smoke Cummins over mid-on and then over his head for a couple of boundaries before nonchalantly flicking him for a six towards the long-leg boundary.
And, in what was a fitting end to yet another lopsided game between these two sides, Hardik nailed yet another boundary in the next over off Green to complete an 8-wicket mauling.
An 87-run-stand between Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan helped KKR to recover from 5-61 to 5-148 against MI
Batting first, KKR did not get off to starts as the duo of Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill managed just 12 runs in the first two overs.
Ultimately, the pressure to up the ante got to Tripathi as he strokes a full-blooded square-cut, only to see SuryaKumar Yadav, who dived it his left, to pluck a stunner of a catch from thin air. Boult couldn’t believe it, Tripathi looked stunner and SKY was chuffed to bits, as he should be.
Nathan Coulter-Nile redeemed himself in his second over as he worked out Nitish Rana (5 off 6 balls) with a pacy short delivery, one that the southpaw could only manage to edge to Quinton de Kock.
The introduction of Rahul Chahar brought more dividends for MI as they leggie got rid of both Shubman Gill and former skipper Dinesh Karthik on successive deliveries to reduce KKR to 4-42 in 7.4 overs.
With Andre Russell at the crease, Rohit Sharma brought Jasprit Bumrah in the attack, and once again the fast bowler showed just why he is the best in the business as he bounced out Dre Russ with a snorter of delivery, one that the swashbuckler had no option but to fend it straight in the air, only for QDK to complete an easy catch.
Eoin Morgan struggled for his timing throughout his innings but his last over blitz and Pat Cummins- who got a lucky reprieve thanks to a dropped catch by QDK off Bumrah- courtest his brilliant knock of 53 off 36 balls ensured that KKR recovered to post a competitive total of 5-148 in 20 overs.