Even after resting over half the side, Mumbai Indians (MI) showed they have enough in the tank to beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), a team that, like them, has won two Indian Premier League (IPL) titles. (Highlights)
“If you asked me, I would keep Kolkata Knight Riders among the top three teams of the IPL but cricket has such ups and downs,” said Saurabh Tiwary after Saturday’s nine-run win ensured that MI would end the league phase of IPL 10 on top of the standings.
“Beating such a team with what is effectively our second team gives us a lot of pleasure,” said Tiwary who made 52 off 43 balls and, along with Ambati Rayudu, gave the innings the kind of cohesion KKR so sorely lacked. (Scorecard)
This was Tiwary’s first game in IPL 10 but the Jharkhand batsman said he was ready. “The great thing about this management is that it provides equal opportunities at nets even for those who are not in the first 11. So, it keeps you ready. That you can win with what is nearly a second team is a result of good preparation,” said Tiwary.
What this win has also done is, he said, got everyone ready for the play-offs. Now, if someone has to step in for a player who is injured, it won’t be his first game, said Tiwary.
“In the play-offs, you often don’t get a second chance and in such a situation, resetting the team combination can be difficult. But now, all of us are ready. The momentum is with us and hopefully, we will do well at home on Tuesday (in the first qualifier),” he said.
MI came here on the back of successive losses but gave fringe players a chance. Tiwary, Rayudu, Vinay Kumar, who took 2/31 in his first IPL 10 match, and Karn Shamra grabbed it with both hands. As did Tim Southee and Mitchell Johnson though to have kept them on the bench also speaks of MI’s strength in depth.
“They have the quality that affords them the luxury of moving a few players around. They came here with the purpose to win and delivered under pressure. Credit to them,” said Kolkata Knight Riders’ Trent Boult.