Mumbai Indians kept their enviable all-win record at home intact as they outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by 65 runs here on Tuesday to virtually...
Mumbai Indians kept their enviable all-win record at home intact as they outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by 65 runs here on Tuesday to virtually eliminate the defending champions' hopes of making the Indian Premier League play-offs. Mumbai rode on their best opening stand of the season �- 93 runs -- provided by Sachin Tendulkar (48) and Dwayne Smith (47) and a quick-fire unbeaten 34 by Dinesh Karthik to rattle up 170 for six at the Wankhede Stadium. The hosts then bowled out the visitors for 105 in 18.2 overs to emerge convincing winners and shoot to the second position on the league table with 16 points behind leaders Chennai Super Kings (18), whom they had beaten comprehensively on Sunday. Only Manvinder Bisla (17) and Jacques Kallis (24) got the starts for the Knight Riders without flourishing fully among the top five batsmen after the dismissal of captain Gautam Gambhir for a duck. Spinners Harbhajan Singh (3) and Pragyan Ojha (2) were the main wicket takers along with Mitchell Johnson (2) and Lasith Malinga (2) while Abu Nechim Ahmed too got a wicket. Knight Riders began the stiff run-chase disastrously when they lost their captain Gautam Gambhir for a second-ball duck in the first over from Mitchell Johnson. Bisla and Kallis took the score to 38 at the end of the sixth over of power play. And when Kallis was out to Harbhajan for 24, it left the Knight Riders in a very difficult position at 58 for 4 just at the half way stage of their innings. In-form batsman Eoin Morgan also fell cheaply in the 13th over to virtually end their hopes. Harbhajan later dismissed Debabrata Das and Rajat Bhatia to finish with fine figures of 3 for 27. Earlier, Mumbai Indians got off to their best start but then lost their way before finishing with a good flourish to post a challenging score. Sachin Tendulkar used the field restrictions in the initial overs in his attractive 28-ball innings before he and Smith departed in quick succession. But Smith struggled to put bat to the ball against L Balaji who started off with a maiden over to the West Indian in his excellent first spell of 3 overs for 7 runs. The stand was nipped by Bhatia � coming on for Jacques Kallis � who deceived and clean bowled Tendulkar with a slower ball when he was well posed to score his first half century of the tournament. Brief scores: MI 170/8 (S Tendulkar 48, D Smith 47, D Karthik 34no) bt KKR105 all out (J Kallis 24, D Das 23; H Singh 3/27, M Johnson 2/13, P Ojha 2/23).
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