Kolkata Knight Riders overcome Mumbai Indians’ Bumrah magic to keep playoffs hopes alive

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Nitish Rana plays a shot against Mumbai Indians during their IPL match on Monday. Courtesy: IPL website

Jasprit Bumrah’s riveting spell of 5/10, which included three wickets in an over, went in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders kept their slim hopes of making IPL 2022 playoffs alive, beating Mumbai Indians by 52 runs at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. On the way to recording his career-best figures in IPL with a barrage of short balls, Bumrah broke the back of Kolkata’s innings in the middle overs, restricting them to 165/9 in 20 overs.

In reply, Mumbai were never in the reckoning to chase 166, crashing to 113 all out in 17.3 overs. Barring Ishan Kishan’s 51, none of the Mumbai batters in a line-up minus Suryakumar Yadav could get the big runs as Pat Cummins and Andre Russell shared five wickets between themselves, using the short balls to good effect. The result means that Kolkata now move up to seventh place in the points table.

Kolkata drew first blood in the opening over when Sheldon Jackson flew to his right and pouched a catch on his right glove of Rohit Sharma off Tim Southee.

Given not out by the on-field umpire, Kolkata went for review and ultra-edge showed multiple spikes when the ball was passing before and after hitting the bat. But the third umpire was convinced that a middle spike showed the ball’s connection with the bat, enough to overturn the on-field decision, leaving Sharma furious while walking off the field.

Bumra-MI Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after taking during the match against KKR. Twitter photo

Tilak Varma, promoted to three in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav, couldn’t make much use of the opportunity and nicked a short ball outside off to first slip off Russell. Ramandeep Singh never looked to be settled at the crease before miscuing a pull to backward point off Russell.

Amidst all this, Kishan slammed five fours against pace as well as spin and found support from Tim David, who hit the ground running with a hat-trick of fours through square leg, mid-on, and mid-wicket off Russell. But Varun Chakravarthy separated the duo, forcing David to miscue a slog-sweep to long-on.

Kishan continued to hang on at the crease, pulling Sunil Narine fiercely over deep mid-wicket and took a single to bring his 12th IPL fifty in 41 balls. But in the very next over, Kishan couldn’t get on to the top of a bouncer from Cummins, top-edging a pull to deep backward square leg.

That started Mumbai’s slide as Cummins bounced out Daniel Sams in the same fashion and ended the over with Murugan Ashwin ramping straight to the third man. Kolkata took out the last three wickets, including an off-colour Kieron Pollard, for just one run to keep their playoffs hopes alive.

Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer perished early but not before getting Kolkata to their first fifty-plus stand in power-play with a 24-ball 43 while Nitish Rana made the same score in 26 balls. But Bumrah halted Kolkata’s fast and furious run, starting by taking out Russell with a short ball, which he could send only to long-on.

Three balls later, Bumrah bounced out a well-set Rana with the ball taking glove-edge to Kishan. He returned in the 18th over, claiming Sheldon Jackson with a short ball pulled to deep square leg.

Bumrah then welcomed Cummins with a bouncer and got him out on the very next ball with an uncomfortable short ball pouched safely by square leg. Sunil Narine tried to fend a short ball from Bumrah, only for the bowler to run in and take the catch on follow-through, pulling Mumbai back in the match.

Venkatesh had begun the innings by dispatching Murugan Ashwin over deep backward square leg for six, followed by drilling a drive on googly through cover. His partner, Ajinkya Rahane, was sedate while taking a four off Bumrah with a cut through point.

Venkatesh made his intentions clear of maximising power-play, coming down the pitch and slicing Riley Meredith over point. It was followed by him shuffling across and scooping a six over fine leg. Venkatesh then brought up Kolkata’s fifty by getting an outer edge running through the third man off Kumar Kartikeya Singh and then brought out slow-sweep to hit a clean six over deep mid-wicket.

But Kartikeya had the last laugh as Venkatesh went for another slog, only to top-edge to cover-point. Rana hit the ground running with a creamy drive over cover to end the power-play on a high. Rahane got a move on with some boundaries but an uncharacteristic reverse sweep off Kartikeya saw him lose his leg-stump.

Rana then hit back-to-back sixes down the ground to bring up Kolkata’s hundred in 11 overs. He took a liking to Pollard’s medium-pace, welcoming him with an inside-out loft over extra cover for six. The left-hander took a four and another six, through extra cover and over deep mid-wicket respectively to take 17 runs off the over.

Though Ashwin took out Shreyas Iyer with a leg-break taking a thin edge to the keeper. From there, Bumrah arrived and broke the back of Kolkata’s batting, restricting them to a par total. But it wasn’t sufficient for Mumbai to avoid their ninth loss of the season.

Indo-Asian News Service

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