BENGALURU: On Friday, Mumbai Indians did not have it easy throughout their chase of 108 against the Kolkata Knight Riders. After a shaky start, they played calculated innings and made it to the final of the IPL, setting up a clash with the Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday.
Krunal Pandya (45 n.o) and Rohit Sharma (26) paved the way for MI’s low-key six-wicket victory with a 54-run stand for the fourth wicket. The M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch has been a tad easier while batting second, and that helped them.
KKR — put into bat — folded for 107 runs in 18.5 overs, and MI scored 111 for 4 in 14.3 overs.Earlier, once KKR’s wickets began to tumble in quick succession, there was increasing belief that they would be bowled out for a low score. There was a period of respite, but the total was far less than they would have hoped for.
The beauty of T20 cricket is that a couple of decent performances can get a team out of the woods. It happened to an extent for KKR, when Suryakumar Yadav (31) and Ishant Jaggi (28) tried to put up a fight.
When KKR were 31 for the loss of five wickets after the seventh over, things were looking really bad.
Nearly a fortnight ago, openers Chris Lynn (4) and Sunil Narine (10) had made mincemeat of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and taken an easy victory. Both failed and so did captain Gautam Gambhir (12).
But, Jaggi and Suryakumar did not find the need to be hasty or emerge heroes. They went about their business in composed fashion. Without doubt, careful batting does pay off.
Jaggi and Yadav put on 56 runs for the sixth wicket, and it seemed to have done the trick. Sadly, the partnership was broken when the former was caught by Mitchell Johnson off Karn Sharma in the 15th over.
It then became a real struggle for the others to put up useful runs. Suryakumar was going well but was caught by Lasith Malinga off Jasprit Bumrah in the 18th over.
Man of the Match Karn Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for MI, courtesy his haul of four wickets for 16 runs. Bumrah bagged three and Johnson two.
Karn Sharma said: “The wicket was slow, and good for us that we bowled well regularly. We started well in the first six overs and were in the game.”