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IPL PIX: KKR outclass MI; storm into play-offs

Last updated on: May 12, 2024 01:21 IST

Images from the IPL 2024 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.

IMAGE: Varun Chakaravarthy celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians opener Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

Spin twins Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy derailed Mumbai Indians after a strong start as Kolkata Knight Riders sealed a play-offs berth with an 18-run win in a rain-curtailed IPL match in Kolkata on Saturday.


Venkatesh Iyer stood out with a 21-ball 42 before a disciplined MI bowling unit restricted KKR to 157/7. The match was delayed by an hour and 30 minutes reduced it to a 16 overs-a-side contest.

Already out of the play-offs race, five-time champions MI cruised to 65 for no loss in 6.4 overs before KKR's star spinner Narine triggered the collapse, halting Ishan Kishan's (40 off 22 balls) explosive start.

IMAGE: Ishan Kishan hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

With Chakravarthy taking 2/17 and Russell picking 2/34, KKR sent half the Mumbai side packing inside 13 overs, before restricting them to 139/8 in the stipulated 16 overs.

Harshit Rana (2/34) also picked up two wickets, while Narine had figures of 1/21, including the crucial wicket of Kishan.

Two-time winners KKR became the first team to advance to the play-offs with two matches to spare, consolidating their place atop the 10-team standing with 18 points. This is for the first time since 2021 that KKR have made it to the play-offs.

KKR will aim to push for a top-two finish in their last two games, against Gujarat Titans on Monday and Royal Challengers Bengaluru on May 19.

IMAGE: Andre Russell celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav. Photograph: BCCI

For Mumbai, this was their ninth loss in 13 matches and they will end their campaign against Lucknow Super Giants on May 17.

Mumbai's diminutive left-handed opener Kishan went all guns blazing with five fours and two sixes and switched-hit Narine for a boundary. But the West Indian had the last laugh and dismissed the destructive Kishan.

Narine deceived Kishan with a seam-up delivery as the left hander holed out to midwicket for KKR's first breakthrough.

Chakravarthy ended Rohit's forgettable stint at the crease in the next over and finished his four-over spell by dismissing MI skipper Hardik Pandya.

Coming in as an impact player, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma's patchy run of form continued as he looked out of sorts during his sedate knock of 19 from 24 balls.

IMAGE: Nehal Wadhera is run out by wicketkeeper Phil Salt. Photograph: BCCI

Rohit was going run-a-ball in his scratchy knock, but that was not a problem for MI as Kishan took the attack to the KKR camp with his flat-batted approach.

The left-hander smashed Harshit Rana for two fours and one six, and then took on Narine with successive fours and a six.

MI were well on course with 59 for no loss in five overs before KKR's spin duo plotted MI's downfall.KKR, who won their ninth game of the season, became the first team to qualify for the play-offs, while five-time champions Mumbai Indians' horror showing continued as they suffered their ninth defeat of the season.

Chasing 158 for victory after the match was reduced to 16 overs per side, MI collapsed after a quickfire stand from their openers. Ishan Kishan top-scored with 40 from 22 balls KKR's bowlers chipped away at the wickets in the middle overs as the visitors finished on 139/8 in their 20 overs. Venkatesh Iyer's 21-ball 42 had helped KKR post 157/7 after they were put into bat.

IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Sunil Narine. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, on a tacky wicket that remained under covers for three days owing to persistent rain in the city, KKR lost their openers -- Phil Salt (6) and Sunil Narine (0) -- in the first seven balls of the innings.

Battling a strained hamstring, Iyer lifted KKR after their worst start of the season with his counter-attacking knock after MI won a good toss following a late start because of rain.

The highlight of the left-hander's innings was the way he hit Jasprit Bumrah for a six and two fours.

IMAGE: Venkatesh Iyer hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Having missed 11 matches because of a finger injury, Nitish Rana made a 23-ball 33 in a key partnership with Iyer before getting run out.

But Mumbai bounced back well with leg-spinner Piyush Chawla returning 2/38 from his three overs, taking the two key wickets of Iyer and Andre Russell (24 off 14 balls).

Russell was looking in the mood and his wicket against the run of play denied KKR some extra runs.

Bumrah (2/39 from four overs) ended his splendid spell by dismissing Rinku Singh for a 12-ball 20.

IMAGE: Piyush Chawla celebrates after dismissing Andre Russell. Photograph: BCCI

On a tacky wicket that remained under covers for three days owing to persistent rain in the city, KKR had their worst start of the season and lost their openers -- Phil Salt (6) and Sunil Narine (0) -- in the space of seven balls.

After being hit for a first-ball six, Nuwan Thushara dismissed Salt with a slower one and Bumrah flummoxed Narine with a delivery that angled away but swung in late to rattle his off-stump.

Bumrah looked unplayable and teased the batters by bowling a Test match length, knocking over a clueless Narine off his first ball.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer also looked tentative and was bowled by Anshul Kamboj for a 10-ball seven after he shuffled too much across and missed the flick as the ball crashed into the leg stump.

IMAGE: Anshul Kamboj celebrates the wicket of KKR captain Shreyas Iyer. Photograph: BCCI

Venkatesh Iyer had a tough time after being hit on his heel by a throw from square leg. After some treatment, the left-hander batted with disdain and attacked MI's best bowler when he hit him for a six and even stepped out for a boundary in a 15-run over.

 His innings ensured that KKR kept their run-rate high, as they recovered to 45/3 in the Powerplay, which was reduced to five overs because of rain.

Chawla got him with his first ball, but then, Russell kept the momentum.

He greeted Chawla with a mighty slog over the cow corner and also showed his graceful side with an elegant four.

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