Kolkata clinch comprehensive 7-wkt win over Mumbai
Iyer, unbeaten Tripathi guide KKR to victory in 15.1 overs; RCB to take on resilient CSK in Sharjah today
Abu Dhabi: Venkatesh Iyer (53) impressed yet again while Rahul Tripathi made an unbeaten 74 to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians here on Thursday. With this win, Kolkata are now fourth in the points table, leapfrogging Mumbai.
Kolkata were off to a flier with Venkatesh Iyer smacking Trent Boult for a six over deep square leg. He then smacked Adam Milne for a six followed by two fours in the second over. With seven boundaries hit in less than three overs, Kolkata were on a rampage.
It needed an off-cutter from Jasprit Bumrah which got Gill (13) to chop onto his stumps, ending the opening partnership at 40. Gill's dismissal caused Iyer and Rahul Tripathi to tread cautiously.
But after the completion of power-play at 63/1, Iyer danced down the pitch to hit Krunal Pandya for a clean six over deep mid-wicket. Rahul Chahar was taken for eleven in his opening over as Iyer and Tripathi took a boundary each off him.
Tripathi smacked a six over long-on before sweeping between long-on and deep mid-wicket for a boundary off Krunal. Tripathi, put down on 43 by Chahar, reached his half-century with a leading edge on scoop going over third man for six. He followed it up with a boundary slogged through mid-wicket off Bumrah.
Iyer, after reaching his fifty in 25 balls, saw his blitzkrieg end at 55 with his stumps disturbed by a slower delivery from Bumrah. Tripathi was undeterred by Iyer's dismissal and continued to whack Chahar, slog-sweeping over deep mid-wicket followed by an edge which Kishan tried to stop but touched the rope with his leg.
Though Eoin Morgan (7) fell cheaply to become Bumrah's third scalp of the match, Tripathi and Nitish Rana knocked off the remaining runs, with the latter reverse scoring the winning boundary by sweeping Chahar to seal a famous win for Kolkata.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33, Lockie Ferguson 2/27, Prasidh Krishna 2/43) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159/3 in 15.1 overs (Rahul Tripathi, Venkatesh Iyer 55, Jasprit Bumrah 3/43) by seven wickets.
Meanwhile, star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to shrug off the crushing defeat in the previous outing and get their mojo back when they take on Mahendra Singh Dhoni's resilient Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, here on Friday.
While RCB will look to start afresh, CSK got a confidence-boosting 20-run win against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Sunday night. It is imperative for RCB to improve upon their batting as they seek to keep their place in the top half of the points table.
It will be important that the openers -- Devdutt Padikkal (217 runs) and skipper Virat Kohli (203 runs) -- provide a solid start. But the opening duo would also need support from the middle-order, which crumbled against Kolkata Knight Riders. The likes of Glenn Maxwell (233 runs) and AB de Villiers (207 runs) will have to perform in unison against a strong CSK attack.
Australian Maxwell did justify his high price tag during the first leg, becoming the side's top scorer. He would be raring to go once again as will the ever-reliant De Villiers.
The RCB bowlers will also have to forget the underwhelming display against KKR. While pacers Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel bowled well, Kiwi quick Kyle Jamieson, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga all had leaked more than 10 runs an over.
CSK could have suffered the reversal in their tie against Mumbai had it not been for youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad's mature unbeaten knock of 88 off 58 balls. The team's leading run-getter Faf du Plessis (320 runs), Moeen Ali were out for ducks while Ambati Rayudu was retired hurt on nought.