KKR v MI Player of the Match: Ambati Rayudu

The middle-order batsman scored a nicely paced half-century to lead Mumbai Indians to 173, which it defended narrowly.

Persistent tuk-tuk, and then a bang. That is how middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu paced his half-century on Saturday to help Mumbai Indians top the Indian Premier League table via a nine-run win in Kolkata. For much of his innings, he scored at about a run a ball. At the business end, however, Rayudu targetted fast bowlers Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav to collect a sizeable number of boundaries to end up with 63 off 37 balls - a strike-rate of 170.

It was in the 16th over that Rayudu got a move on. Yadav was deposited to the third man boundary for a four and long-on for a six. Boult was hit to extra cover and pulled square on the leg, also for a four and a six. He came down the track to the other Yadav - the spinner - to give him the same treatment. Belligerence was being summoned when it seemed needed. But it was belligerence which ended Rayudu’s innings, when he went down the pitch once more and was stumped.

It was the penultimate over of the innings, and his cameo was complete. Kolkata Knight Riders came close, but could not quite topple Mumbai Indians’ total of 173.

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