The Mumbai Indians used the home crowd advantage to the full use to demolish the Kolkata Knight Riders for their opening victory in the Indian Premier League 2017.
By Jawad Hussain
MUMBAI, April 9, 2017 (SNN 24/7) – Hardik Pandya kept his nerves in the pressure moments to give Mumbai Indians their first victory in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
The Mumbai Indians defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets to open their account in the 2017 Indian Premier League in front of their home crowd.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and invited his counterpart Gautam Gambhir to take the crease first on a pitch which was always going to offer decent assistance to spinners but the dew factor played a big part in his decision to bowl first.
Australian all-rounder Chris Lynn (32 off 24 – 3 fours, 1 six) and skipper Gautam Gambhir (19 off 13 – 3 fours) got Kolkata Knight Riders off to a decent start with 44-run opening wicket partnership from 4.2 overs. However, as they say you take a wicket and get another as a token. The same happened for Mumbai Indians as Robin Uthappa (4 off 3 – 1 four) soon followed the skipper on his way back to the pavilion. Chris Lynn and Yusuf Pathan (6 off 11) soon perished but Manish Pandey (81* off 47 – 5 fours, 5 sixes) not only occupied the one end but also notched up a fearless half-century that took Kolkata Knight Riders to an imposing total of 7/178 from 20 overs.
Sri Lankan bowling ace Lasith Malinga (4-0-36-2), Indian veteran Harbhajan Singh (4-0-27-0), and young Indian chinaman bowler Krunal Pandya (4-0-24-3) bowled amazingly well. However, New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan (4-0-51-1) and Indian medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah (4-0-39-1) were the culprits for the Mumbai Indians as they leaked way too many runs off their deliveries.
Mumbai Indians needed to score quick runs against the new ball in a bid to chase down a big total. Parthiv Patel (30 off 27 – 3 fours, 1 six) and Englishman Jos Buttler (28 off 22- 1 four, 2 sixes) scored 65 off 7.3 overs for the hosts. Nitish Rana (50 off 29 – 5 fours, 3 sixes) played a responsible knock at the imperative one-down position but he continued losing partners on the other end. Skipper Rohit Sharma (2 off 6) got a bad umpiring decision but Krunal Pandya (11 off 6 – 2 fours) and Kieron Pollard (17 off 17 – 1 four, 1 six) fell cheaply to give Kolkata Knight Riders control of the proceedings.
It was Hardik Pandya (29* off 11 – 3 fours, 2 sixes) whose late cameo saved the day for the Mumbai Indians as he clobbered 11 runs from the first five balls of the final over to seal the victory for the hosts in front of thousands of home crowd.
Ankit Rajpoot (4-0-37-3) led the bowling effort from Kolkata Knight Riders while Chris Woakes (4-0-34-1), West Indian orthodox spinner Sunil Narine (4-0-22-1), and Kuldeep Yadav (4-0-35-1) did a decent job with the white ball. However, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult (3.5-0-47-0) was put to the sword by the Mumbai Indians batsmen. Especially Pandya used Boult’s pace in the final over to pull off the victory in a dramatic fashion.
Nitish Rana was declared the Man of the Match for his composed and match-changing innings for the Mumbai Indians.
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