KKR Beats MI, Clinches Playoff Spot

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With this victory, Kolkata Knight Riders have become the inaugural team to guarantee their Playoff berth, advancing to 18 points with nine wins out of 12 matches…reports Asian Lite News

Ishan Kishan struck a 22-ball 40 but Kolkata Knight Riders rode on a superb bowling effort spearheaded by spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians by 18 runs in Match 60 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 which was curtailed to 16-overs-a side because of rain at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

With this win, Kolkata Knight Riders became the first team to secure their place in the Playoff, moving to 18 points from nine wins from 12 matches. This was their second win over MI this season, having beaten them at the Wankhede stadium a few days back.

Mumbai Indians were looking on course at 65 for no loss with Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma at the wicket. But the KKR bowlers pulled things back, bowled good lengths and varied the pace on a wicket on which the ball was gripping and bouncing a bit.

Chakravarthy (2-17), Harshit Rana (2-34) and Andre Russell (2-34) bowled brilliantly to check the Mumbai Indians progress and restricted them to 139/8 after a 21-ball 42 by Venkatesh Iyer and 23-ball 33 by Nitish Rana helped them recover from a precarious 40/3 after they were asked to bat first by Mumbai Indians. Andre Russell (14-ball 24) and Rinku Singh (20 off 12) struck some lusty blows towards the end as KKR reached a challenging 157/7.

KKR were again looking in trouble at the end of the Power-play with Ishan Kishan going strong before Sunil and Varun Chakravarthy applied the brakes. Chakkravarthy was their best bowler and he troubled the batters, not allowing the batters to get under the ball or hit horizontal bat shots.

This was Mumbai Indians’ ninth defeat in 13 matches this season and they will wrap up their campaign on May 17 at the Wankhede with a clash against Lucknow Super Giants.

Chasing a tough target of 158 in 16 overs, Mumbai made a fine start with Ishan Kishan slamming a 22-ball 40, studded with five boundaries and two sixes. Though Rohit Sharma, brought in as an Impact Substitute, struggled to get going, Kishan’s superb batting ensured that the five-time champions reached 59 for no loss in the five-over Power-play.

On a wicket on which the ball was gripping and rising a bit, Mumbai fettered away the good start as they lost their way around in the middle overs, failing to get the better of KKR spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.

Kishan, who struck successive fours off and followed that up with a six off the final ball of the fourth over bowled by Harshit Rana, switch-hit Sunil Narine for a boundary and a six off successive balls to round off the Power-play.

Narine got the breakthrough for KKR when he outfoxed Kishan with a faster carrom ball and the batter hit it straight to Ramandeep Singh.

Rohit Sharma struggled to 19 off 24 balls before he offered an easy catch to Narine off Chakravarthy. Suryakumar Yadav, who struck a brilliant unbeaten century at the Wankhede a few days back, was out cheaply, managing 11 off 15 balls before he tried to hit Andre Russell from way outside the off-stump to the leg side and was caught by Ramandeep near the boundary.

With 70 needed from 30 balls, Hardik Pandya fell for 2, caught by Vaibhav Arora off Varun Chaktrvarthy and when Tim David fell to Russell off the first ball of the 13th over, they seemed in deep trouble.

Tilak Varma hblasted Harshit Rana for a four and six off successive balls and then reverse-hit for another boundary. But Nehal Wadhera was run out going for a double off the last ball, leaving Mumbai needing 41 off 12 balls. Naman Dhir hammered Russell for two sixes and a four off four deliveries and when Phil Salt slipped a skier off the final ball of the over MI scored 18 runs off the 14th over.

They needed 22 off the last six balls, but Naman Dhir tried to hoist Rana out of the ground but mishit to deep midwicket where Rinku Singh picked an easy catch. Naman Dhir was out for 17 off six. A delivery later Rana got Varma with extra bounce as an attempted slap over point went behind to keeper Salt.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 157/7 in 16 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 42, Nitish Rana 33; Piyush Chawla 2-28, Jasprit Bumrah 2-39) beat Mumbai Indians 139/8 in 16 overs (Ishan Kishan 40, Tilak Varma 32; Varun Chakravarthy 2=17, Harshit Rana 2-34, Andre Russell 2-34) by 18 runs.

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