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Harsh Kalan in Mumbai 14 May 2014 - 11:35pm IST

Report: Match 40 – KKR v MI

Knight Riders trump Mumbai Indians by six wickets

Riding on a timely half-century by opener Robin Uthappa (80), Kolkata Knight Riders registered a big six-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians with eight balls to spare. Chasing a 142-run target, the hosts made sure they did not make heavy weather of the run-chase by building handy partnerships, and eventually, earning their team two valuable points as the race to the Playoffs picks up pace.

Earlier, KKR won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. MI then lost CM Gautam (8) in the third over off Morne Morkel. And while Lendl Simmons and Ambati Rayudu added 23 runs for the second wicket, Shakib Al Hasan drove a wedge in the blossoming partnership before it could turn dangerous. The left-arm spinner bowled Simmons (12) out in the sixth over. As a result, MI ended up at 37 for two after the powerplay.

But Rayudu then stabilised the innings with his skipper, Rohit Sharma. The two batters added 35 runs at less than a run-a-ball. At the halfway stage, the pair had taken MI to 62 for two as the KKR bowlers were bowling in the right areas and ensuring there was no width on offer.

Rayudu (33) then perished in the 12th over off the bowling of Piyush Chawla, who he was trying to slam out of the park. Rohit Sharma was then joined by Corey Anderson in the middle. The pair then took the MI score past the 100-run mark in the 16th over. However, after plundering 16 off the first five balls of that over – bowled by Morkel – MI lost Anderson (18) off the last delivery. Rohit Sharma (51) then added another 23 runs with Kieron Pollard. However, the MI skipper was cleaned up by Sunil Narine in the final over shortly after he had brought up his half-century. Thanks to some tight bowling by KKR, the visitors could only manage 141 for five in 20 overs.

While Morkel picked up two wickets for the home team, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan – who claimed a scalp each – boasted a sub-six economy-rate.

In response, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir gave KKR a good start. The experienced pair added 50 for the first wicket, as they kept chipping away at the modest target. However, Gambhir (14) was cleaned up by Harbhajan Singh in the eighth over, after which Manish Pandey came in to bat. Even the second-wicket pair stitched together a valuable stand – worth 46 runs, during which Uthappa brought up his half-century – before Harbhajan Singh struck again; he bowled Pandey (14) out, leaving KKR on 96 for two in 14.1 overs.

Yusuf Pathan then ensured KKR’s run-chase did not go off track. With Shakib Al Hasan for company, the middle-order batsman brought his team within striking range of the target. And while Lasith Malinga bagged Shakib’s (9) wicket in the 19th over, by then the hosts were just four runs shy of victory. Yusuf (20*) finally took the Knight Riders over the line with a four off Malinga. As a result, KKR got home with six wickets in hand and eight balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Robin Uthappa for his match-winning knock

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