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3 Number of fifties scored by Gautam Gambhir in his last three innings. He had scored ducks in his first three innings in IPL 2014.
9 Kolkata Knight Riders won the match by nine wickets – their biggest win in terms of wickets in hand. They had also beaten Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals by an identical margin in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
17 Number of innings after which Sehwag scored a 50 in the IPL.
35 Number of balls taken by Sehwag to reach his 50 – his second-slowest in the IPL. He scored a 36-ball 50 against Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011.
55 Runs scored by Kolkata Knight Riders in the first six overs – the most they have scored in Powerplay in IPL 2014. 3 Number of consecutive 50-plus stands put up by the Kolkata Knight Riders openers. Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir had added 121 and 106 against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils respectively. This is the third time KKR openers have performed this feat. Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle also did so in 2010, while Gambhir and Brendon McCullum had 50-plus stands in three consecutive matches in 2012 in which they opened together (but Gambhir opened with Bisla in between that stretch).
It has not been the best of seasons for the Mumbai Indians this year having won just two matches out of their eight games so far. After their defeat against the Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, the Mumbai Indians now face an uphill task if they are to make it to the Playoffs. When MI assistant coach, Robin Singh, was asked the reason being the side being in a spot of bother, he said, “We did not start the tournament very well; we should have got more runs in the first leg of the tournament. We did not bat as well as we should have. We have done pretty well in the second half of the tournament with two wins in three games. We were a bit unfortunate in the last game against Chennai Super Kings. We would have probably won the game had we done those small things better.”
As far as their batting goes, MI have not had a stable opening pair, and Robin Singh was quick to throw light on that issue. “Opening is one of the areas where we have not gone right. But having said that, we have got decent starts in the tournament. We have got close to 40-45 runs from our opening stands so far, which we are pretty happy with.”
He was also of the view that it was not just MI who had problems getting good starts at the top of the innings, and that this was an issue for most sides in the tournament. “If you look at the other teams as well, barring Kings XI Punjab, I don’t think any other team has got more than 40 runs from their opening stand consistently. Bowling attacks have become stronger this year and teams are looking to try different things and work out certain combinations,” he said.
When asked about the pressure on the side to make it to the Playoffs, Singh replied, “The pressure is on every team to qualify for the Playoffs, not just us. All the teams are eying that spot in the Playoffs. We don’t want to rely on other teams when it comes to qualifying for the Playoffs. We have got to look at ourselves and make sure that we play better cricket and do the small things right. The team is getting better and there is a lot more consistency in terms of performance. We are happy with the three games we played at home, and hopefully, it will be another good game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.”
MI’s new recruit, Praveen Kumar, had a good game with the ball against SRH. Kumar picked up two wickets and showcased some quality seam bowling at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. The assistant coach believes that swing bowlers play a crucial role in any format of the game, and he said, “I always thought Praveen Kumar has been a very good bowler. I have always been someone who has advocated that swing bowling is one of the ways to go ahead in any format of the game. Most of the swing bowlers, like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma, have done well up front this season for their respective sides, and Praveen Kumar too did well for us in his first game.”