Mumbai Indians stays afloat with all-round win

Mumbai Indians remained in the hunt for a play-off spot after registering a 13-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.

Mumbai Indians players celebrate after beating Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede Stadium.   -  AFP

Mumbai Indians remained in the hunt for a play-off spot after registering a 13-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium. The victory may not have bettered its fifth place in the standings but it enabled Rohit Sharma's men to break away from the four-team block that was tied at six points apiece.

When Kolkata required 37 runs to overhaul Mumbai's 181 for four, Dinesh Karthik, the visiting captain, was required to repeat his Nidahas Trophy final heroics. However, Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya, who bowled the last over, fared much better than the Sri Lankan bowlers at the Khettarama to ensure Mumbai registered its second home victory of the season.

The home team was fortunate to not suffer heavily from a regulation drop by the experienced J.P. Duminy off the last ball of the penultimate over. After getting the reprieve, Karthik failed to overhaul the stiff ask of scoring 19 runs off four balls.

 

Moreover, that wasn't the only dropped catch by the home team under lights. The first one was by Mayank Markande off Hardik Pandya in the Powerplay – to give Robin Uthappa a reprieve. Uthappa, the former Mumbai batsman, was batting on four then and he almost took the game away by scoring his maiden fifty of the season. Soon after, Markande faced Uthappa's wrath as the legspinner was tonked for two successive sixes in his first over. Just when Uthappa – having hit four consecutive fours off Ben Cutting in the 12th over – was running away with the match, he miscued a loft off Markande to get Mumbai back in the game. And the home team after that didn't let Karthik, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine – who was forced to be demoted in the batting order because he was unwell – to get the chase back on track.

Earlier in the evening, Suryakumar Yadav continued his stupendous run even against the team that he was an integral part of for the last few seasons. The Mumbai opener's fourth fifty of the season and his 91-run opening partnership with Evin Lewis ensured Mumbai had a defendable target on the board. Yadav took on Mitchell Johnson in the third over, with a six over deep square leg followed by two fours. The first one – a glorious drive through covers – was the feature of Yadav's innings.

Once Russell broke the stand in the 10th over, Kolkata made a comeback, conceding just 37 runs from the 11th to 15th over. However, Hardik's cameo ensured Kolkata had a stiff total to chase.