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Turning Point: Hardik's opening spell

By HARISH KOTIAN
May 06, 2019 08:39 IST

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya celebrates Shubman Gill's wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Hardik Pandya has proved to be the impact player for Mumbai Indians this season. The all-rounder came up with another decisive performance against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

Pandya picked up 2/20 to help Mumbai restrict KKR to a below-par 133/7 on a good batting wicket.

In reply, Mumbai Indians cruised to a 9 wicket win with 23 balls to spare to finish top of the IPL standings, with 9 wins from 14 games.

Mumbai will face Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, with the winner advancing to the IPL final.

 

Put into bat, KKR recovered after a watchful start to race to 49 for no loss in 6 overs, with Chris Lynn hitting 38 from 22 balls to boost the visitors's hope of posting a competitive total in a must-win match.

But the introduction of Pandya turned the match on its head. He struck with his very first delivery, bagging the in-form Shubman Gill, trapped leg before for 9.

In his next over, Pandya dismissed the dangerous Lynn, caught by Quinton de Kock after hitting a quickfire 41 from 22 balls.

Hardik's double strike took the wind out of KKR's sails as the visitors managed just 16 runs from the 6th to the 12th over, without a single boundary.

With the Mumbai Indians bowlers building the pressure with disciplined spells, KKR had a massive 60 dot balls in their 20 overs, meaning they failed to score a run from 50 percent of the deliveries,

Mumbai now has two shots to make it to the IPL final even if they lose against CSK.

HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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