It was yet another last over finish but this time it ended in Mumbai’s favour. With 30 runs to get off the last 2 overs and all the Mumbai Indians’ big wigs back in the dugout, KKR’s Ankit Rajpoot was handed the ball for the 19th over. Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya got 19 off that over in spite of Rana being dismissed.
The Mumbai Indians have a habit of pulling off the unexpected
The experienced Trent Boult couldn’t stop Pandya from getting his team over the line in the 20th. A missed field from Suryakumar Yadav and Rishi Dhawan’s dropped catch ensured a 4 wicket win for the Mumbai Indians. Hardik Pandya’s powerful hitting was once again the difference in the Mumbai batting. He scored 29 in just 11 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders who took home a 10-wicket win against the Gujarat Lions in their first game were off to a good start once again. Chris Lynn and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir got some quick runs first up but Krunal Pandya’s breakthroughs slowed down the visitors.
Manish Pandey's efforts in vain
Krunal finished with economical figures of 4-0-24-3 while Malinga returned to the MI attack, picking up 2 wickets and so did Harbhajan with 4 overs for 27. MI did well to stem the run flow although Manish Pandey’s 81 off just 47 balls made sure that KKR got to a more than respectable total of 178.
The Mumbai Indians innings too, started on a similar note as their previous game, with Jos Buttler setting them up well. Rohit Sharma wasn’t able to get runs on the board once again with an unfortunate decision going against him. Nitish Rana who was promoted up the order to number 3, stuck it out till the end. Regular wickets meant Mumbai didn’t quite dominate terms in the second half. Once Kieron Pollard fell in the 17th over, a KKR victory was pretty certain.
What Nitish Rana did well was hit timely boundaries and the younger of the Pandya brothers ensured he cleared the ropes when needed. The 23-year-old Delhi batsman bagged the Man of the Match for his 29 ball 50 and has cemented his place in the MI middle order. The home team will need to re-work their batting order and get some more stability in the side.
If there’s one thing the IPL has successfully done year after year, it’s the revelation of young Indian talent.