In a high-scoring match played at the Eden Gardens on Sunday night, hosts Kolkata Knight Riders defeated the Mumbai Indians by 34 runs. Batting first, the Knight Riders amassed 232-2 riding on the back of half-centuries from their top order, after which their bowlers restricted the visitors to 198-7. The win ended KKR’s six-match losing streak in VIVO IPL 2019, and also brought to an end MI’s streak of eight consecutive wins against them. The win would also be KKR’s 100th in the 20-over format.
In his 100th match as captain in the IPL, Rohit Sharma put the Knight Riders in to bat and watched as each of KKR’s top three made half-centuries. Shubman Gill made 76, Chris Lynn made 54 and then Andre Russell pulverised his bowlers and helped himself to 80 not out. The KKR innings contained three partnerships; Gill and Lynn added 96 runs for the opening wicket, Gill and Russell added 62 for the second wicket, and then Russell and Dinesh Karthik were involved in an unbroken partnership of 74.
The Mumbai Indians were faced with the task of having to post the biggest run-chase in the IPL. And when they slumped to 58 for 4 in the ninth over, there was only going to be one winner. But Hardik Pandya, who walked out to bat at that stage, breathed life into the contest with an outrageous innings; he scored 91 from 34 balls and kept his team in the contest. But once he was dismissed, with MI still needing 48 from the final two overs, the result was all but known.
For the Knight Riders, Andre Russell was in the thick of things in the field too; he took two catches in the outfield, and with figures of 2 for 25, was their most economical bowler. Sunil Narine (2-44), Harry Gurney (2-37) and Piyush Chawla (1-57) were the other wicket-takers.
Standout batting performances
There were three standout innings in the match, and each one of them stood out for a different reason.
Shubman Gill’s innings of 76 was one of class. After being asked to open the innings, he generally played copybook cricket strokes and scored the bulk of his runs down the ground. The youngster also demonstrated good reading of the game and applied himself well, often picking up singles after scoring a boundary. He hit six boundaries and four sixes in his 45-ball knock.
Walking out to bat number three, with more than ten overs to go must have felt weird for Andre Russell. That explained why he took a little bit of time to find his bearings. Midway through the fourteenth over Russell was 6 from 12 balls. It was at this point he probably thought he had seen enough and it was time to cut loose; his first acts of aggression were back-to-back sixes off Rahul Chahar. He collected boundaries at will and brought up his half-century off 30 balls. In the twentieth over, he got stuck into Lasith Malinga and hit him for two sixes and two fours. Russell finished unbeaten on 80; his 40-ball knock contained six boundaries and eight sixes.
The third impressive innings in the match was that of Hardik Pandya’s; this was a knock full of brute power and a knock that gave the MI camp belief that they could still get the runs. Hardik came out to bat at number six, when MI needed 175 runs in 70 balls. When he was dismissed, MI’s equation had come down to 48 from 12 balls. In the period in between, there was carnage as Hardik stamped himself all over the KKR bowlers, scoring 91 of the most-destructive runs one has seen this season; he dealt in boundaries, brought up his half-century off 17 balls, and threatened to run away with the match. In search of yet another boundary, Hardik picked out Russell at midwicket and missed out a well-deserved hundred. Hardik’s 34-ball knock contained six boundaries and nine sixes!
Standout bowling performance
In a match where dot balls were premium commodity and every third or fourth delivery found its way to the boundary, Andre Russell bowled four excellent overs; his spell contained a total of 10 dot balls, and he conceded only two boundaries. The Jamaican bowled his overs in three spells; he dismissed Evin Lewis with his very first delivery and then added the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav in his next over. He then came on to bowl the fifteenth over at a time when MI were on the charge and conceded only 7 runs. His final over was the 19th of the innings; he bowled three dot balls and conceded only three runs, eventually finishing with outstanding figures of 4-0-25-2.
Stat of the Match
Hardik Pandya’s 17-ball half-century would be the joint-fastest half-century by a Mumbai Indians batsman in the IPL; he shares the record with Kieron Pollard (v KKR, 2016) and Ishan Kishan (v KKR, 2018).
A total of 430 runs were scored in the match, making it the highest-scoring IPL match at the Eden Gardens.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 232-2 (Shubman Gill 76, Chris Lynn 54, Andre Russell 80*) defeated
Mumbai Indians: 198-7 (Hardik Pandya 91) by 34 runs.
Man of the Match
Andre Russell, for his 40-ball 80*, 2 for 25 and 2 catches.