Skipper Rohit Sharma pummelled the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling into submission and Jasprit Bumrah bounced back with a superb performance as Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 49 runs in the Indian Premier League match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
MI finally registered a win in United Arab Emirates after six defeats previously in the tournament’s history. They also kept their strong record against KKR going, registering their 20th win in the rivalry out of 26 matches played.
Chasing 196 for a win, KKR folded for 146/9 in 20 overs.
Having gone for plenty of runs against Chennai Super Kings in the opener, Bumrah starred with the key wickets of Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan. He went for 27 runs in his final over and still finished with figures of 2/32 in his four overs.
The Bumrah-led Mumbai attack did most things right as a chasing team lost a match for the third night in a row.
KKR were never on course for a comfortable chase as they lost openers Shubhman Gill (7) and Sunil Narine (9) cheaply to be in a spot of bother at 25/2.
Batting at No 3, Dinesh Karthik (30 off 23) and Nitish Rana (24 off 18) tried to up the ante but they were still playing the catch-up game with 125 runs needed from the last 10 overs.
And then Kolkata were dealt a double blow in quick succession as first Karthik was trapped by Rahul Chahar (2/26) in front of the wicket and then Hardik Pandya grabbed a running catch on the fence to send back Rana off Kieron Pollard’s bowling. Playing in his 150th IPL match (all for MI and the first to do so for the franchise), Pollard picked up a wicket in the tournament for the first time since 2015.
Bumrah (2/32) in the 16th over sealed the game for Mumbai as he removed Andre Russell (11), who was bowled, and then forced Eoin Morgan (20) to edge to the wicket-keeper. At that point, Bumrah’s figures read 3-0-5-2.
Pat Cummins (33 off 12) launched into Bumrah with four sixes in a very expensive 18th over, but it was too late for Kolkata, who failed to put up a real contest.
Earlier, Rohit’s majestic ball-striking powered Mumbai to an imposing 195/5.
After Shivam Mavi (2/32) removed opener Quinton De Kock (1) cheaply, Rohit (80 off 54 balls; 3 fours, 6 sixes) and Suryakumar Yadav (47 off 28; 6 fours, 1 six) conjured 90 runs for the second wicket to pull the team out of trouble.
Rohit, who began with a maximum, displayed his languid grace and elegance as he took the Kolkata attack to the cleansers. Surya effortlessly smashed four boundaries off Sandeep Warrier (0/34), including a cover-drive and a flick, in the third over.
Rohit got going after smashing pacer Pat Cummins (0/49) for two maximums – both his trademark pull-short. With the two looking good and hitting sixes and fours at will, Mumbai raced to 94/1 after 10 overs.
Kolkata, however, cut short Surya’s stay when he was run out.
Rohit continued his brutal onslaught against Kuldeep Yadav (0-39), smashing him for two maximums.
Saurabh Tiwary (21), Hardik Pandya (18) played perfect second fiddle to Rohit, who bulldozed the opposition bowlers.
Kolkata tried to pull things back by removing Rohit, Hardik in quick succession even as Mumbai added 48 runs in the last five overs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The bowling effort by MI was a disciplined one as the defending champions got up and running in the tournament.
(With PTI inputs)
You can watch the highlights of the match here: (courtesy IPLt20.com)