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The Mumbai Indians pulled off a 25-run away win against the Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad. As a result of the two points earned form this game, the Rohit Sharma-led side – which has eight points from 11 matches – still has a chance to make the Playoffs.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first and Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons gave the visitors a great start. After cautiously adding 42 runs in the powerplay, both batters got their eye in and went after the RR bowlers. At the halfway stage, the duo had taken MI to 76 for no loss. Then in the 12th over of the innings, Hussey brought up his half-century. Simmons then hit a six in the next over to clock in his second fifty of the season and to take his team’s score into triple digits.
The pair went from strength to strength as they not only denied RR any breakthroughs, but they also piled on the runs during their 120-run stand. But finally, Ankit Sharma dismissed both openers within the space of four deliveries, in the 15th over; the RR spinner first got rid of Simmons (62) as he was going for a big one, before seeing the back of Hussey (56).
However, there was not much respite for the RR bowlers as Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma joined forces after these dismissals. While Pollard (14*), who struck a maximum during his unbeaten knock, played the support cast, it was the MI skipper who took the opposition bowlers to the cleaners. During his 19-ball knock – which ended with his run-out off the last ball of the innings – Rohit Sharma (40) hit three fours and four sixes. Thanks to the 56-run (off 30 balls) third-wicket stand, MI ended up at 178 for three after 20 overs.
In response, RR opened their innings with Karun Nair and Unmukt Chand (2). However, the latter could not stick around too long; Pragyan Ojha got rid of him in the third over, leaving RR on 17 for one. And while Nair looked on song, he did not get much support from his skipper, Shane Watson (5) – who also fell prey to Ojha. Sanju Samson (2) was soon dismissed by debutant left-arm pacer, Krishmar Santokie. MI’s next breakthrough featured what could well end up as the catch of the season; Kieron Pollard pulled off an unreal catch on the second attempt at the long-on fence to get rid of Kevon Cooper off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh.
That spectacular catch reduced RR to 61 for four in 7.4 overs. And things did not get any better for RR as they lost Ankit Sharma (4) to MI’s other debutant – 20-year-old leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal – just five runs later. Stuart Binny (2), who was stumped by Aditya Tare in the 11th over, became the young leggie’s second victim of the match. And then, Harbhajan Singh finally broke Nair’s (48) 24-ball knock, which stood out from the efforts of the rest of the RR top order.
Brad Hodge and James Faulkner (31*) then took RR past the 100-run mark. The pair struck a total of five sixes during their 41-ball 69-run stand to give RR a glimmer of hope. However, Hodge (40) holed out to Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Santokie in the 19th over. In the end, RR could only manage 153 for eight in 20 overs, handing MI a 25-run away win. For the visitors, Harbhajan Singh (4-0-13-2) and Gopal (4-0-25-2) played a vital role in ensuring RR stayed behind the asking rate throughout their innings.
Man of the Match:Michael Hussey for his 39-ball 56-run knock
The Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by a seven-wicket margin in a crucial mid-table clash in Pepsi IPL 2014. Chasing a modest 143-run target, the visitors were aided by helpful hands from Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate, after their bowlers – led by Umesh Yadav – restricted the home side to 142 for eight in 20 overs.
Earlier, Darren Sammy, the newly-appointed SRH skipper, won the toss and chose to take first strike. However, the home team lost Aaron Finch (8) off the bowling of Umesh Yadav in the second over with the score on 14. Shikhar Dhawan (19) and Naman Ojha then added 27 runs for the second wicket, before the former was dismissed by Sunil Narine. By the end of the powerplay, the scorecard read 41 for two as Ojha was joined by David Warner. And while the duo soon took their team past the 50-run mark, Ojha (22) got out off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan, leaving SRH on 64 for three.
Lokesh Rahul then paired up with Warner, who was striking the ball very well. Together they added 34 runs, until Piyush Chawla trapped Rahul (14) leg-before in the 13th over. Warner (34) also departed shortly thereafter, holing out to Yusuf Pathan off the bowling of Yadav. Sammy (7) was the next batsman to walk back to the dugout; his 16-ball stay was ended by Shakib Al Hasan, leaving SRH on 129 for six. Karn Sharma (4) was then run-out as the hosts were trying to add a few extra runs towards the end. However, thanks to Irfan Pathan’s (23) cameo, the scorecard kept ticking.
Dale Steyn was the last SRH batsman to depart; Yadav cleaned him up on the last ball of the innings. SRH ended up at 142 for eight after 20 overs. Meanwhile, for KKR, Yadav (3/26) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/22) were the key wicket-takers.
In response, KKR lost Gautam Gambhir (6) early; the left-handed opener was caught behind the wicket off Steyn. However, Robin Uthappa continued his good run in Pepsi IPL 2014. In the company of Manish Pandey, Uthappa (40) added 51 runs, before he was run-out by Sammy. The hard-hitting Yusuf Pathan then took guard opposite Pandey. The third-wicket pair steadied the run-chase and even struck routine boundaries to deflate the SRH bowlers’ confidence. Pandey (35) was eventually dismissed by Karn Sharma, leaving KKR on 104 for three in 15.2 overs.
This was the last bit of success the SRH bowlers would taste tonight as Yusuf Pathan took complete charge of the run-chase. He was ably supported by Ryan ten Doeschate (25*), who struck two fours and a maximum in the final over during his 13-ball cameo. But it was Yusuf Pathan (39*), whose two timely fours and sixes ensured there were no late surprises as KKR coasted to a massive seven-wicket win with four balls to spare.
As a result of this win, KKR now have 12 points from 11 matches and are placed third on the points table. SRH, on the other hand, currently occupy the sixth spot with eight points to show for their 11 outings. Man of the Match: Umesh Yadav for his match-winning spell