The toss was the only thing that did not go in KKR’s favor. KKR were asked to bat first and they accepted it as a gift. Shubman Gill smashed a couple of boundaries and a six to Barinder Sran’s opening over. After Pollard dropped Chris Lynn, KKR scored 50 in six overs without a loss. Lynn went scored 54 runs with 8 fours and 2 sixes, before getting out to Chahar. KKR were at 97 for 1 at the end of 10 overs. Russell was promoted in this match which proved to be a masterstroke by KKR. Gill and Russell together added 62 runs in next 35 balls, in which Gill contributed with 34 runs in 17 balls. KKR added 68 runs in last 4 overs which includes Russell’s 3 sixes in the 18th over and 2 sixes plus 2 fours in the 20th over. Gill and Russell destroyed MI bowlers with 12 fours and 12 sixes between them. Dinesh Karthik too played his cameo of 7 balls 15 and MI were bequeathed with the steep challenge of 233 runs chase.
KKR struck right in the second over as Narine took de Kock’s wicket. Gurney removed MI captain in the fourth and restrained MI under 7 runs per over in the powerplay. Russell excelled with the ball too, as he removed Lewis in the 7th over and S Yadav in the 9th over. At halfway, KKR had got 4 wickets and the required run rate was 15.66. Narine got the huge scalp of Pollard in 14th over. Gurney ended the fighting inning of Hardik at the end of 18th over and the game was over for MI.
Russell was the top scorer for KKR with 40 balls 80 that included 8 sixes and 6 fours. Gill scored 76 in 45 balls while Lynn made 54 off 29. Russell took two wickets for 25 runs while Gurney bagged two for 37. Narine too got two wickets but conceded 44 runs.
While bowling first, MI bowlers went wicketless for nearly 10 overs and gave away 96 runs in those overs. Chahar finally removed Lynn but only to face Russell as the replacement. The second success for MI bowlers transpired in the 16th over as Hardik took Gill’s wicket on the score of 158. However, the mighty Russell was unstoppable for MI bowlers. Except for Krunal Pandya, all MI bowlers conceded more than 10 runs per over. In the last five overs, MI gave away 75 runs, of which 20 came in the 20th over off Malinga.
Under pressure, MI openers started the chase of the humongous 233. Q de Kock gave away his wicket to Narine in the second over. MI was 9 for 1 and 22 for 2 as Sharma got out to Gurney in the fourth over. MI was nowhere looking like chasing the 200 plus total as at the end of the powerplay, they scored just 41. Lewis got out to Russell in the 7th over while S Yadav got out in the 9th after scoring 26. Hardik Pandya displayed his intent straightaway as he smashed Chawla for two sixes and a four, taking MI to 78 in 10 overs. Pollard and Pandya added quick 43 runs in next 3 overs to improve MI’s run rate from 7.8 to 9.3. Unfortunately, Pollard got out to Narine in the 14th over. With a sixer, Hardik achieved a record 17-ball-50. After his dismissal, MI could add just 13 runs and lost to KKR by 34 runs.
Hardik scored sparkling 34 balls 91 that included 9 sixes and 6 boundaries. S Yadav added 26 in 14 balls. Krunal Pandya helped a bit with his 18 balls 24, including 2 sixes. Hardik got 1 wicket for 31 runs in 3 overs while Chahar got 1 for 54. Malinga and Bumrah went wicketless and conceded 92 runs in their 8 overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders will play a home game on 3rd May at IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali against KXIP. They won their first match after losing 6 matches and cannot afford to lose any, now onwards. KXIP are their closest competitors from the points table so it is a must win game for KKR.
Mumbai Indians will play another home match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 2nd May at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Though MI are ahead of SRH in the points table, they wouldn't want to take a chance to lose another game. MI should be looking forward to defeating SRH at home to contest for the top two slots in the table.
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