The tropical weather of Mumbai leaves very little room for a blizzard. However, the three giant screens at the Wankhede stadium displayed similar warning messages, aimed more at the Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowlers than the Mumbai public, ‘Blizzard warning forecast’ it said.
It was a different kind of blizzard that swept through the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Mumbai Indians Australian opener who hit a whirlwind 30-ball 51 to put the hosts a win away from the summit clash.
The 26-year-old Aiden Blizzard struck seven cracking boundaries and had two hits over the fence. The second one a massive six, off compatriot Brett Lee, was cut over the backward point boundary and sailed into the second tier of the Vijay Merchant pavilion at the Wankhede stadium. Blizzard didn’t move an inch after hitting that shot as he stood admiring the brute power behind the stroke.
Off the very next ball, he attempted to better that hit but this time failed to get a clean strike and holed out to the deep point.
Blizzard made his intentions clear from the outset. Off Lee’s opening over he slammed a ball through extra cover, where KKR's Ryan ten Doeschate was fielding. The Dutchman dived full stretch to stop the ball but was a nano second too late as it sped to the boundary. Ten Doeschate picked himself up, no doubt pondering over what could have been.
The all-rounder came into the middle with the KKR innings in tatters at 20/4. After defending the first ball, ten Doeschate demonstrated the kind of damage he's capable of wreaking,. With their backs to the wall, he took the fight to MI with a thrilling counter-attack.
By the time he walked off the field, ten Doeschate had compiled an unbeaten 70 off 49 balls. However, it was not be his day as Blizzard's blitz upstaged the Dutchman's late-order fightback.