IPL 2020: New skipper, same result for KKR against Mumbai
IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets to reclaim the top spot. Batting first, KKR posted 148 for 8. In reply, Quinton de Kock slammed an unbeaten 78 as MI chased down the target in 16.5 overs.Updated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:19 IST
The overnight change in leadership in the Kolkata Knight Riders’s (KKR) set-up did little to stem their haemorrhage. The new KKR skipper, the reigning World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, said at the toss that the change had taken place amicably, and that former captain Dinesh Karthik had the bigger picture in mind. On the Abu Dhabi field and against Mumbai Indians (MI), however, the passing of the baton did not unfold quite as well.
At the fall of KKR opener, and season’s top-scorer, Shubman Gill’s wicket, in walked the new captain and joined the old captain in the middle. First ball of this moment of past and future meeting in the present, Karthik dragged leggie Rahul Chahar on to his stumps and left the side reeling at 43/4 after eight overs. Finding salvation was now wholly on Morgan’s shoulders.
For a short while, Morgan had the dangerous Andre Russell for company. A big reason for KKR languishing in the mid-table this season is perhaps due to Russell’s lack of big hits. The Jamaican has a top-score of 24 this season. He threatened to change that on Friday with a six off Krunal Pandya in the next over and a fiercely cut boundary off Chahar in the 10th, shots that took KKR to just 57 runs at the halfway mark.
But when Russell departed in the following over – having gloved a Jasprit Bumrah snorter to the ‘keeper – Morgan found much-needed help from unexpected quarters. When these two teams met earlier in the tournament, Aussie quick Pat Cummins proved that he too could tonk sixes at will by going after Bumrah. On Friday, with Morgan anchoring the innings, Cummins went after almost everyone else.
Cummins cut loose in the 13th over, bowled by compatriot Nathan Coulter-Nile, smacking him for a couple of fours and a towering six. Then, Trent Boult was given similar treatment in the 19th, as Cummins got to his first IPL fifty. He handed over the strike with yet another boundary off Coulter-Nile in the final over and by then Morgan, batting on a steady 23 off 25 balls, had seen enough.
Two sixes and two doubles took Morgan to 39 and KKR to 148. The score was certainly respectable from where they once were. But against Mumbai and especially due to the imperious form opener Quinton de Kock finds himself in, it was not nearly enough. De Kock’s unbeaten 78 ensured MI won with eight wickets to spare.
In his capacity as a wicketkeeper, de Kock had dropped Cummins on 36 and spent the rest of the innings watching the Australian make the chance count. So, when de Kock was returned the favour by Varun Chakravarthy when on 16, he emptied out his frustrations on the white ball. Pacer Prasidh Krishna was assaulted for 16 runs in the 8th. Then, Russell felt the heat too, clobbered for 12 runs in the 9th by the South African gloveman, who in turn reached his third and best fifty in the last four games.
The winning runs, struck by a fluent Hardik Pandya, were hit only in the 18th over. But the result was assured a lot earlier.