The Mumbai Indians clinched their first win of VIVO IPL 2017 when they defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by 4 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday evening. KKR, asked to take strike first, recovered from a mid-innings collapse to post 178-7; they were powered by a sublime half-century from Manish Pandey. MI’s run-chase had several twists and turns, but importantly for the hosts, the batsmen held their nerve just when it mattered and took the team home. NitishRana scored an impressive half-century, while Hardik Pandya chipped in with a cameo at the end to complete the job.
MI were provided by a solid platform at the top by Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler; the opening pair added 65 before the former was dismissed in the 30sfor the umpteenth time. Buttler was dismissed an over later, and the MI captain Rohit Sharma was at the receiving end of a rough decision in the tenth over. Krunal Pandya was fourth man out, dismissed in the thirteenth. The innings was resurrected briefly through a 22-run partnership between Rana and Kieron Pollard, before the latter was dismissed at the start of the 17th over.
Nitish Rana, who was promoted to number three, kept watching from the other end all this while. The batsman from Delhi, who had 22 from 23 balls at one stage, switched into overdrive mode with three overs left; he picked up a four and a six off successive deliveries in the eighteenth over and did a similar act in the nineteenth over to get to his half-century.
When Rana was dismissed in the middle of the 19th over, MI still needed 19 from the last nine deliveries. That’s when Hardik Pandya decided it was time for him to take up the cudgels; he hit Rajpoot for a six in the 19th over and then hit two boundaries in the final over to take his team past the finish line. Hardik was helped in his cause by some poor work on the field by the KKR fielders; Suryakumar Yadav fumbled what should have been a regulation stop at long on and let the ball sail past the ropes, and two balls later the substitute fielder Rishi Dhawan put down a catch. Hardik finished with 29 runs, scored from the 11 deliveries he faced.
For KKR, Ankit Rajpoot was the most successful bowler; the lanky pacer returned figures of 3-37, which included three very good overs and one over that cost 19. Sunil Narine was the most economical bowler for KKR; he finished with figures of 4-0-22-1. Chris Woakes and Kuldeep Yadav too chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier in the evening, KKR got off to a bris start with both openers continuing from where they left off in the previous match against the Gujarat Lions. Chris Lynn was the first to step on the accelerator as he picked up boundaries off LasithMalinga and Mitchell McClenaghan in the first two overs before his skipper joined in. Lynn hit Malinga for a six in the fourth over and KKR had raced to 44 in the first four overs.
Krunal Pandya was introduced into the attack and he pulled the brakes immediately as he dismissed Gambhir and Robin Uthappa in his very first over. JaspritBumrah then accounted for Lynn, who made 32 from 24 balls.
MI kept the middle overs quiet conceding only 22 runs between overs 9 and 12, during which period they also picked up the wicket of Yusuf Pathan. That is when Manish Pandey, who had crawled to 20 from 22 balls, decided to step on the gas. The batsman from Karnataka was severe on the quicks; he hit Bumrah for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries in the sixteenth over, before helping himself to two fours and two sixes off McClenaghan’s final over.
Pandey finished unbeaten on 81, adding 61 runs off the final 25 deliveries he faced. KKR, 79-3 at the half-way stage, added 99 in the back half to finish at 178-7.
On the bowling front, Krunal Pandya was the most successful bowler, returning with career-best figures of 3-24, while LasithMalinga announced his arrival to the MI line-up with figures of 2-36.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 178-7 (Manish Pandey 81*, Chris Lynn 32, Krunal Pandya 3-24, Lasith Malinga 2-36) lost to Mumbai Indians: 180-6 in 19.5 Overs (Nitish Rana 50, Parthiv Patel 30, Ankit Rajpoot 3-37) by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match: Nitish Rana