The Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai was the venue for the battle of the heavyweights. Mumbai Indians hosted Kolkata Knight Riders in the 37th match of the IPL 2018. The defending champions MI extended their winning run against KKR and inflicted a much-needed win to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Suryakumar’s splendid run continued
MI were put into bat after Rohit Sharma lost the toss. The openers made a subdued start as they scored just 8 runs from the first 2 overs. Suryakumar Yadav, the man in form, added spice to the innings and collected 15 runs from the Mitchell Johnson over. Evin Lewis also got going with a couple of boundaries to Sunil Narine.
The duo was relentless and took full advantage of the fielding restrictions. They went after the spinners and powered the score to 56 after 6 overs. The assault continued even after the powerplay ended and the partnership added 91 runs. Lewis was first to go as Andre Russell accounted for his wicket in the 10th over for 43 off 28 balls.
The captain Rohit was in and started building his knock slowly. Suryakumar brought up his consecutive fifty in the 11th over but MI suffered a massive blow when Rohit was removed by Narine for 11. The opener was unflustered and found a company of Hardik Pandya who was aggressive from the outset as MI reached 122/2 after 13 overs.
MI fell short of what they should have achieved
KKR pulled things back very well in the couple of overs that followed. Johnson gave away just 4 runs and the increase in the pressure resulted in the wicket of Suryakumar for 59 in the next over. Hardik upped the flow runs but he saw the back of his brother for 14 in the 17th over courtesy Narine.
Johnson slipped in another quiet over and MI, who were once threatening to touch 200, were fighting to get to a decent score. Hardik played an explosive cameo of 35 from 20 balls at the death to propel MI to 181/4 at the of the innings.
During KKR’s chase, Mitchell McClenaghan conceded just 2 runs in the first over but Chris Lynn provided substance to the innings by scoring a flurry of boundaries. Just when he threatened to fire, McClenaghan sent him packing for 17 in the 3rd over. Hardik came into the attack in the 4th over and dismissed the other opener Shubman Gill for 7 off the first ball.
Uthappa flourished with a lifeline
Pandya could have got another but Mayank Markande dropped a sitter at mid-on and Robin Uthappa was allowed to live another day. KKR reached 47/2 after 6 overs and Uthappa added insult to the injury by slamming Markande for some lusty blows. He pressed on the accelerator while Nitish Rana gave him good support.
Uthappa brought up his half-century in the 12th over as KKR were cruising at 111/2 after 12 overs. Requiring 71 from 48 balls, they were the favorites but Markande got his revenge when he dismissed Uthappa for 54 in the 13th over. Hardik removed Rana from the other end and all of a sudden, MI made an astounding comeback.
MI held their nerves
Karthik and Russell were in the middle and they found it hard to cope with the required run rate. The equation came down to 60 from 30 balls and then it got tougher with 54 required from the last 4 overs. Bumrah bowled the 17th over and accounted for the wicket of the dangerous Russell for 9. Hardik finished his spell with another gem of an over, conceding just 6 runs.
Karthik was still fighting with 37 needed from 12 balls. He struck 14 runs in the penultimate over bowled by Bumrah which brought the equation down to 23 from the last over. Rohit threw the ball to Krunal who did the job beautifully and conceded just 9 runs and also included the wicket of Narine. MI won the match by 13 runs and kept the hopes alive for a place in the final 4.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first
Mumbai Indians: 181/4 in 20 overs
Suryakumar Yadav 59 (39), Evin Lewis 43 (28)
Andre Russell 12/2 (2), Sunil Narine 35/2 (4)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 168/6 in 20 overs
Robin Uthappa 54 (35), Dinesh Karthik 36* (26)
Hardik Pandya 19/2 (4), Mayank Markande 25/1 (3)
Mumbai Indians won by 13 runs
Player of the Match: Hardik Pandya