If Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell took a fifer, Mumbai Indians’ Rahul Chahar picked a wicket less than that, but scripted a ten-run win for his side. Rahul Chahar was the game-changer for the Mumbai Indians as they eked out a come-from-behind victory against Kolkata to secure their first points in IPL 2021. The wrist-spinner conceded that Rahul Tripathi’s wicket was his favourite and admired Rohit Sharma for having confidence in him.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan put the Mumbai Indians in to bat and started well by dismissing Quinton De Kock in the third over. Mumbai Indians swung the momentum towards them as Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma added 76 off 53 balls for the second wicket. But Kolkata roared back by removing Yadav for 56 and a struggling Rohit for 43 off 32 deliveries. After Yadav, only the Pandya brothers reached double figures, as Andre Russell ripped their batting line-up within three overs to claim five scalps.
Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar hit back with three wickets after Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill launched KKR’s chase with a 72-run opening stand. Rahul Chahar struck once again in the last ball of his spell by removing a well-set Rana, who hit his second successive fifty and finished with figures of 4-0-27-4. Yet, the match was well within the Knight Riders’ grasp and Russell struggled to cut loose despite receiving two lifelines. Top-notch bowling spells from Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult choked the opposition, leaving them ten runs short.
I knew that on this pitch it was the spinners who had to do it: Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar conceded that Kolkata Knight Riders started well and knew he had to take advantage of the assistance in the deck. The leggie, whose first victim as Shubman Gill, remarked that having played against him a lot, he knew how to dismiss him. Chahar claimed Rahul Tripathi’s dismissal in which Quinton De Kock also played a hand was his favourite wicket and fired a flipper to remove Rana. The 21-year old credited captain Rohit Sharma for showing confidence towards him and does so, especially when he goes for runs.
“They had started well, I knew that on this pitch it was the spinners who had to do it. I’ve played 2-3 seasons so I had confidence to get Gill out, and I know him since the U-19 days and I knew what to do. My strength is to turn it quickly, at speeds of 90kph. I think Tripathi’s caught behind was my favourite wicket. I also had an idea that Rana would give me a chance and so I pushed a flipper outside off. There’s a lot of benefit from having guys like Rohit showing confidence in me, there are times when I’m being hit around and he has more confidence in me than I do in myself,” Rahul Chahar told in the post-match presentation.