A scintillating joint fastest half-century by Pat Cummins along with a gutsy innings by Venkatesh Iyer led Kolkata Knight Riders to a convincing five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in an IPL 2022 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, here on Wednesday.
It was KKR’s third victory in the four matches and they climbed to the top of the table with 6 points. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians’ horror run continued as they slumped to their third successive defeat in the ongoing season.
Earlier, a brilliant fifty from Suryakumar Yadav (52 off 36) helped Mumbai Indians post 161/4 in 20 overs. With 55 for 3 in 11 overs, Mumbai were in trouble but Suryakumar added 83 runs for the fourth wicket with Tilak Varma (38 off 27) to rescue his side. Apart from Suryakumar and Varma, Dewald Brevis (29 off 19) also played an entertaining knock on his IPL debut while Kieron Pollard (22 off 5) gave the late flourish to Mumbai’s innings.
Chasing a challenging total, KKR were off to a slow start and the pressure resulted in a wicket. Tymal Mills gave Mumbai their first breakthrough by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane (7) in the 5th over. Shreyas Iyer (10) who came to bat couldn’t last longer and got out to Daniel Sams, leaving KKR in trouble at 35-2 in 6 overs.
KKR’s attempt to stitch partnerships after the first six overs didn’t yield great results either as Sam Billings ( 17) and Nitish Rana (8) both made starts but fell in successive Murugan Ashwin overs.
Mills, who’d found great success with the short ball all evening struck gold when Russell (11) mistimed a short ball and Brevis took a catch to send him packing. Though KKR kept losing wickets at the regular intervals, Venkatesh Iyer (50 off 41) stayed till the end and kept them in the game but it was Pat Cummins with his attacking knock that turned the game on its head.
Cummins walked out to bat when KKR were on 101 for 5 in 13.1 overs, still needing 61 off 41 balls. He brought that down to 47 off 36 with a flick well over deep midwicket and cut placed between point and short third man. In the next over Cummins repeated the feat against Jasprit Bumrah, which dragged the match in their team’s favour. But, the Australian wasn’t even done with the wild willow-swinging when KKR needed just 35 off 30 balls.
Cummins needed just six more of the available deliveries to complete the chase – smashing them all in an erroneous Daniel Sams over which included four sixes – all big clean hits – and two fours. A ball before he completed the chase with a six, he reached a 14-ball half-century.
He equalled KL Rahul’s record for the fastest half century of all time in the IPL and ended the match unbeaten on 56 off 15 balls and powered KKR to win, with four overs to spare and five wickets in hand.
Earlier, invited to bat first, Mumbai Indians had a poor start as Umesh Yadav got rid of skipper Rohit Sharma to give KKK the first breakthrough in the 3rd over of the innings. Rohit tried to take on a short ball that was pounded into the deck quite hard but he could only eke out a top-edge with wicket-keeper Sam Billings running backwards and pouching it safely.
The wicket brought debutant Dewald Brevis at the crease and from the very beginning he looked in solid touch even against an aggressive Umesh. His stroke-play injected a bit of momentum into Mumbai’s innings and Ishan Kishan was also happy to play the second fiddle as they took their team to 35/1 after 6 overs.
KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer then introduced spin after the end of powerplay and both batters chose to not get too adventurous against Sunil Narine. But Brevis (29 off 19) smacked the first ball he faced from Varun Chakravarthy for a six. The shot was then followed by three dots. Brevis missed the 5th ball of the over and Billings was quick to whip off the bails.
Suryakumar, who was playing his first match of the season, then joined Kishan at the crease and tried to rebuild the innings for Mumbai. But the run-rate was dropping with every passing over and the pressure was building on Kishan, who wasn’t at his absolute best. The southpaw’s struggling innings finally came to an end after Cummins dismissed him on a short ball. It could have been worse for Mumbai but Billings and Rahane had miscommunication while trying to grab a catch and it was put down as Tilak Verma got a lifeline.
Taking full advantage of the dropped catch, Varma hit a few adventurous shots and gave some impetus to Mumbai’s innings while Suryakumar also complimented him well with few timely boundaries. Both Suryakumar and Varma kept the scoreboard ticking and helped MI cross the 100-run mark in the 17th over of the innings.
From there on, it was no looking back for Suryakumar and Varma, who went on rampage and scored 17 and 14 runs respectively in the 17th and 18th over respectively. After hitting a fine fifty Suryakumar got out in the first ball of the 20th over but Kieron Pollard provided the sparkling fireworks by smashing Cummins for three sixes.
Overall, Mumbai scored 76 runs in the last 5 overs and ended with 161-4 on the board. Kieron Pollard (22 not out off 5) and Tilak Varma (38 not out off 27) remained unbeaten at the crease. On the other hand, Pat Cummins (2/49) was the most successful bowler for KKR while Umesh Yadav (1/25) and Varun Chakaravarthy (1/32) also chipped in with one wicket each.
Mumbai Indians: 161/4 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 52, Tilak Varma 38 not out; Pat Cummins 2/49) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 162/5 in 16 overs (Pat Cummins 56 not out, Venkatesh Iyer 50 not out; Murugan Ashwin 2/25)