Mumbai beat Kolkata Knight Riders by nine runs Buffalo Park in East London in their return match.
Mumbai Indians’ skipper, Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and elected to bat first as he thought that the pitch would have kept a little low and would be a little slow on to the bat. Probably the previous match’s result was still fresh in his mind, when his team had failed to chase a target of 120 for a win.
Sanath Jayasuriya opened with Tendulkar but departed early when he tried to charge Ashok Dinda and was caught by the wicket-keeper Morne van Wyk. For some strange reason, Harbhajan Singh was promoted up the order at the number three but the experiment did not last too long either as he was caught at the boundary off the wily Murali Kartik; Mumbai 40/2 in 5.5 overs.
Abhishek Nayar came into bat at number four, while Tendulkar played a scratchy knock to get to 34. Tendulkar was out, caught after smashing Ajit Agarkar for a six and a four, where as Nayar became another victim of the strategic time-out, to leave Mumbai gasping at 70/4 in almost 12 overs; neither too many wickets in hand, nor an attractive looking run-rate.
It was here that J.P. Duminy stepped up a gear, and in conjunction with, first, Graham Napier – in place of Dwayne Smith today – and then Ajinkya Rahane, started to up the ante. At one stage Mumbai was 97/6 in 16, but then Laxmi Ratan Shukla was smashed for two sixes in one over by Duminy to start the accelerating process. A frustrated Ishant Sharma was then hit for a couple of boundaries, before Dinda was rounded off in the final over for 16 runs. This took JP to an unbeaten 52 and Mumbai to 148/6. >
Kolkata Knight Riders had a disastrous start to their inning when they lost both their openers, Chris Gayle and Sourav Ganguly to Zaheer Khan to be reeling at 8/2 in the third over. McCullum had pushed himself down the order, and did not even come at the number four position, as it was Morne van Wyk who joined Brad Hodge.
The duo saw off the early attack from Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, with Lasith Malinga bowling only one over in his first spell. The Knight Riders did not lose any wickets till the strategic time-out and the runs kept coming with relative ease and they were 60/2 in 10 overs.
Post the strategic break, the Knight Riders started accelerating by picking up ones and twos regularly, and smashing the odd boundary. Hodge was particularly severe on Bhajji and Graham Napier before van Wyk departed to Napier. 51 runs were needed in five overs, when Zaheer bowled a no-ball and the free-hit went for a six to tilt the balance in the favour of Kolkata.
Of the remaining four overs, Malinga had two to be bowled, and Zaheer had one, virtually meaning that a part time bowler had to bowl the fourth. However, the wicket of Brad Hodge for a well constructed 73(60), meant that 19 runs were needed in the last over and Abhishek Nayar wasn’t tested enough.
With this win, the Knight Riders remain at the bottom of pile with only one win, where as Mumbai go to the third position with three wins and an abandoned match to their credit.