First by parachuting Hardik Pandya from Gujarat Titans and then dethroning Rohit Sharma to elevate the Baroda all-rounder to the captain’s role doesn’t seem to have gone down well with many aspirants within the franchise.
Mumbai Indians maintained their winning streak in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a dominating eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday.
Registering the sixth win of the season in just their eighth match so far, Mumbai reclaimed the top spot. They haven’t lost any contest ever since the super-over defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai Indians came all guns blazing against a confused KKR team, which abruptly had a chance in captaincy hours ahead of the match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Mumbai bowlers restricted KKR to a moderate 148 for five wickets in 20 overs, before wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 78 guided the four times champions home with 19 balls to spare. Mumbai ended up with 149 for two wickets in 16.5 overs.
Chasing the target, openers Rohit Sharma (35) and de Kock took MI to 51 in the initial six overs. It seemed the duo will comfortably steer MI home. However, Shivam Mavi dismissed Rohit in the 11th over when the defending champions were six runs short of the three-digit mark.
Suryakumar Yadav (10) fell cheaply, thanks to Varun Chakravarthy coming up with the second breakthrough in the 14th over.
The late strikes, however, wasn’t enough to help KKR in stopping their opponents as Hardik Pandya (21) and de Kock shared a match-winning 38-run (20 balls) partnership to finish things off in just 16.5 overs. de Kock’s unbeaten innings, which came off 44 balls, was decorated with nine boundaries and three sixes.
Earlier, Pat Cummins (53 not out) and Eoin Morgan (39 not out) somehow managed to take their side to 148/5 wickets after the two-time champions suffered a top-order collapse.
KKR’s new skipper Morgan decided to bat after winning the toss. However, the decision backfired as the top half of his batting lineup were back in the hut with just 61 runs on board in 10.4 overs.
It was Cummins and Morgan’s crucial unbeaten 87-run partnership for the sixth wicket which helped KKR near the 15-run mark.
While Cummins knock contained five boundaries and two sixes, Morgan smashed two fours and as many maximums.
For MI, leggie Rahul Chahar starred with the ball with impressive figures of 2/18 from his four overs while pacers Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Nathan Coulter-Nile picked a wicket each.
Brief scores: MI 149/2 wkts in 16.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 78, Rohit Sharma 35; Varun Chakravarthy 1/23) beat KKR 148/5 wkts in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 53 not out, Eoin Morgan 39 not out; Rahul Chahar 2/18) by 8 wickets
With IANS inputs