Home » Cricket » IPL 2020, KKR vs MI: Knights wilt as Sharma leads charge of the champions – cricket

IPL 2020, KKR vs MI: Knights wilt as Sharma leads charge of the champions – cricket

As defending champions in 2013, Brett Lee opened Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) campaign with a first-ball wicket getting Eden Gardens to twist and shout. Shivam Mavi’s wicket maiden against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday would be next in terms of impact. Mavi struck with his second ball when Quinton de Kock skied a pull and then kept Rohit Sharma quiet.

Having missed IPL2019 due to injury, Mavi returned to bowl at the death and got Sharma too but that was after the MI skipper had scored 80 (54b; 3×4; 6×6), the sixes coming mostly of pulls because KKR bowled short. KKR also bowled 11 wides and a no-ball, the erratic performance encapsulated by Pat Cummins’s third over where he kept banging it in only for Hardik Pandya to move inside the line and pull him for two fours and a six.

IPL 2020: KKR vs MI - Highlights

Bought for Rs 15.50 crore, Cummins didn’t complete his quota and leaked 49 runs. That meant Mavi would have to bowl the 18th and 20th overs. He went for 11 and 13 and with Andre Russell conceding only four in the 19th, MI managed 195/5, their last five overs yielding 48.

MI followed up the competent batting performance with disciplined bowling which fetched their 20th victory in 26 games against KKR. The asking rate crossing 10 in third over and 12 in the 10th on a big ground in Abu Dhabi meant KKR needed more than the beavering of Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana after the openers Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill went early.

Playing his 150th game for MI, Pollard bowled a tidy spell and took his first wicket since 2015 when Hardik Pandya took a stunning g catch to dismiss Rana (24). By the time, Jaspreet Bumrah removed Russell and Eoin Morgan in the space of three balls, KKR were playing to protect the net run rate. That was because MI’s pacers, on way to the 49-run win, bowled better lines and length.

Sharma and Surya Kumar Yadav exploited KKR’s profligacy to seize the initiative. Beginning with a streaky cut for four, the shot nearly disturbing his furniture, Yadav got into the groove as Sandeep Warrier sprayed on both sides of the wicket. For the next nine overs, Yadav (47; 28b; 4×6; 1×6) and Sharma produced an exquisite array of shots, mostly square of the wicket. Kuldeep Yadav went for 11 in his first over, Cummins 15, Russell 13 after Warrier had gone for 16 in his second.

With Sharma holding the innings together, Saurabh Tiwary (21), Hardik Pandya (18) and Pollard (13) played useful cameos. Kuldeep went for 15 in his final over, Sharma hitting two sixes, the second by giving him the charge and hitting over long-on. It was reminiscent of the treatment Moen Ali gave Kuldeep that game against Royal Challengers being his last of the campaign.

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