Four nights after losing to Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens, the Kolkata Knight Riders managed to exact their revenge against the Mumbai franchise by subjecting them to a 32-run defeat. While Rohit Sharma was the star of MI’s win in Kolkata, it was Sunil Narine’s turn to grab the limelight today as the off-spinner finished with figures of four for 15 to help his team defend a modest total at the Wankhede Stadium.
Earlier, KKR struggled to post a total of 140 after being asked by MI skipper Harbhajan Singhto bat first. RP Singh did the initial damage for the hosts as he got an lbw decision against Brendon McCullum (1) in the second over, despite the fact that the batsman had taken a couple of steps outside his crease. However, if there were any doubts regarding McCullum’s dismissal, Singh left no room for question regarding Jacques Kallis’ wicket with his very next delivery.The pacer pegged back the all-rounder’s off stump with a delivery that cut in after pitching. This left KKR wobbling at six for two in 1.3 overs.
Gautam Gambhir hit three fours and even survived a missed catch that went for six in his knock of 27; but he failed to anchor the visitors’ innings with a big score. The KKR captain was bowled by Kieron Pollard in the ninth over with his team’s score at 44. Manoj Tiwary and Shakib Al Hasan then tried to revive KKR’s innings with a 45-run stand that included a couple of big sixes. But with both batsmen falling in the space of six deliveries, KKR found themselves in a tight spot with the score reading 91 for five in 14.1 overs. Even Debabrata Das (2) didn’t help KKR’s cause as he found himself involved in a mix-up with Yusuf Pathan and was run-out. The visitors were 96 for six at the fall of Das’ wicket.
Yusuf Pathan, who has struggled with his form right through the tournament, tried his best to help KKR past a score of 150, and he remained unbeaten on 21. But with Lasith Malinga and RP bowling well at the death, MI restricted KKR to a below par 140 for seven in 20 overs on the evening.
Chasing 141 to win, MI had a slow start with Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs only scoring 20 runs in the first five overs. Iqbal Abdulla then gave KKR their first breakthrough when he had Gibbs (13) bowled off the last ball of the sixth over. Tendulkar (27) tried to up the MI scoring rate after Gibbs’ dismissal with a six and a boundary off Kallis in the ninth over. However, when Sunil Narine broke through the Mumbai legend’s defenses to knock his off stump over, MI were reeling at 60 for two at the end of 11 overs.
With the KKR bowlers continuing to bowl a tight line and the asking rate steadily rising, the hosts were forced to go for the big shots; this only resulted in more wickets falling. Dinesh Karthik (20) was caught at fine leg while attempting a pull shot in the 13th over while Ambati Rayudu (11) was stumped while attempting to hit Shakib Al Hasan out of the park in the 16th.
Any chances of MI still pulling off a win from this stage then disappeared when Kieron Pollard (8) Dwayne Smith (0) were dismissed by Kallis off successive balls in the 17th over. Narine finished the game on a high as he picked up three of the last four wickets to help bowl the hosts out for 108 in 19.1.
The win pushes KKR up to second spot in league standings with 19 points. MI (18 points), on the other hand, slide down to third place. Now, both teams have one game each left in the league stage of the competition. Scorecard Man-of-the-match:Sunil Narine for his incisive match-winning spell of 3.1-0-15-4