Mumbai Indians edge out Kolkata Knight Riders, top IPL 2017 points table
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Mumbai Indians edge out Kolkata Knight Riders, top IPL 2017 points table

Half-centuries from Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary helped Mumbai Indians score 173/5 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Then some perfect death bowling from Hardik Pandya helped MI restrict KKR to 164/8 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 14, 2017 01:01 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2017,Mumbai Indians,Kolkata Knight Riders
Mumbai Indians players celebrate after the dismissal of a Kolkata Knight Riders batsman in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match at the Eden Gardens.(PTI)

In trying to beat Mumbai Indians (MI) to the top spot, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lost by nine runs on Saturday and failed to be second in the points table. They are now one match from elimination in IPL 10, having lost four of their last five games. At best, KKR can now finish third. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

After a 15-5 head-to-head record against KKR, MI ended the league phase on top.

That Sunil Narine would be in a hurry was expected but after Tim Southee stopped the storm before it brewed, KKR’s top-order batsmen, barring Manish Pandey, threw caution to the wind. Chris Lynn began in trademark whirlwind fashion but his wicket soon after Robin Uthappa’s ensured KKR would only promise but not perform.

Read | IPL 2017: Ambati Rayudu makes a mark before playoffs

When Pandey fell for 33 in the 18th over after being given a life in the 17th, only the formalities were left to be completed. Surely, in his first visit to the Eden this term, Shah Rukh Khan deserved a better showing from his Knights.

For most of their innings, KKR were ahead of this bunch of MI irregulars – they made six changes --- in terms of runs. And in terms of wickets as well.

That proved their undoing. In trying to get to 174 in 18.5 overs to go top against a bowling attack that didn’t have Lasith Malinga, Jaspreet Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan, KKR showed they had brought their tendency to self-destruct that was evident against Kings XI Punjab to this game.

Read | Saurabh Tiwary makes 1st chance count in IPL 2017, scores 52 for Mumbai Indians

Resting six regulars, Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu helped MI reach 173/5 in this match, which started 30 minutes late due to a Nor’Wester.

Rayudu steps up

Making the most of Parthiv Patel and Nitish Rana being rested, Tiwary and Rayudu held the innings together after skipper Rohit Sharma’s evening turned out to be a brief affair on Saturday evening. Playing his first match of IPL 10, Tiwary made 52.

Rayudu, who made a 37-ball 63 with six fours and three sixes, was returning after a groin injury in their opener. Beaten off the first ball he faced from Ankit Rajpoot, Rayudu gradually grew in confidence. He was untroubled by the spinners and when Umesh Yadav came on in the 16th over, Rayudu hit a six off the front foot.

The beautiful hitting continued when Kuldeep Yadav came on to bowl the 19th over. He hit two sixes off the chinaman bowler but became another victim of a googly that has troubled many in this tournament.

Back in the team after nearly one month and nine games, Trent Boult added to the narrative of the comeback men but was perhaps the only bright spot of the evening for the Knights.

Boult bowled a peach of a first over and narrowly missed getting Lendl Simmons with one that came back late. The New Zealand quick got his man in the innings’ third over. After two overs in the power play, Boult had conceded only eight. He went for 18 in his third but leaked only five and dismissed Kieron Pollard in the innings’ last over.

First Published: May 13, 2017 20:52 IST