MI succumb to batting disorder
Recovering from the shocker of a defeat at home against Chennai Super Kings -- courtesy, a last ball six -- Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back well and came up with a disciplined bowling performance to beat hosts Mumbai Indians by 32 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night.
Batting first, the Knights managed to set up a modest target of 141 for Mumbai Indians to chase but the latter -- 60-1 on one occasion -- got shot out for a paltry 108 in 19.1 overs, allowing the visitors to seal a berth in the play-offs starting next week.
Mumbai Indians also recorded their second lowest total in the IPL with this game, after the 92 they had managed against Delhi Daredevils playing at home.
The hosts found West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine virtually unplayable as the bowler finished with figures of 4-15 from his four over spell.
The rest of the Knight attack too worked well around Narine. Medium-pacer Laxmipathy Balaji finished with figures 2-11 and Jacques Kallis, while being a little costly at 42 runs in four overs, also claimed two wickets. The other bowlers, Shakib-al Hasan and Iqbal Abdulla, both finished with a scalp each.
Mumbai Indians only have themselves to blame. A target that was well within their reach in the stipulated 20 overs was made a mess of as batsmen, with the sole exception of Sachin Tendulkar, made a hash of the proceedings. MI lost their last eight wickets for just 48 runs and the collapse triggered after the team lost Tendulkar for 27 runs in the 11th over of the chase.
The Knights looked possessed and also rode on a variety in their attack that proved most difficult to counter. The wicket, which has often been criticised by the hosts for being damp and slow, also didn't prove as much a hindrance as MI's inability to stick to the crease.
Apart from Tendulkar, who hit three fours and a six in 24 balls, Dinesh Kartik (21), Rohit Sharma (12) and Ambati Rayudu (11) got starts but failed to take their team any further.
Earlier in the game, RP Singh picked two wickets in as many balls in his first over as MI restricted KKR to a modest 140-7.
Seeking a victory to seal a play-off berth, MI were on top from the time skipper Harbhajan Singh opted to field after winning the toss and his bowlers vindicated the decision by ensuring a tight leash on the visiting batsmen.
There was little of note in KKR's innings, which never kept going after the loss of opener Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis in successive balls to R P Singh.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir made 27 off 23 balls with a six and three fours, while Manoj Tiwary scored an attractive 41 off 43 balls with two sixes and as many fours before both threw away their wickets.
The lower order batsmen tried their bit and managed to add 46 runs in the last five overs, with Yusuf Pathan making an unbeaten 21 in 21 balls with two fours, but the score looked below par on a track that looked good for batting.
For Mumbai, who had lost their previous home game to Royal Challengers Bangalore by a big margin, RP Singh led the bowling honours with figures of two for 33 while Lasith Malinga, Munaf Patel, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith all picked up a wicket apiece.
The victory helped KKR to take the second spot behind table leaders Delhi Daredevils with 19 points, while Mumbai Indians are on the third spot 18 points ahead of their final game against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur on May 20.
KKR will face Pune Warriors in their final league game at Pune on Saturday.