The Kolkata Knight Riders trounced the Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in Match 34 of the 2021 Indian Premier League at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
In this match, MI had the psychological advantage, having beaten KKR in 22 of the 28 meetings between the two teams. On Thursday, however, they were up against a different Kolkata. On the day, KKR outsmarted MI in every department, and the result was a true reflection of how things turned out.
KKR restricted MI to 155 for 6 after winning the toss and bowling first with an effective bowling effort. Rahul Tripathi (74 not out off 42) and Venkatesh Iyer (53 off 30). In 15.1 overs, KKR cruised past the mark.
KKR got off to a flying start in their chase of 156, racing to 63 for 1 at the end of the powerplay. When KKR was underperforming at the midway point of the IPL 2021, coach Brendon McCullum admitted that the franchise might consider making changes. So far, the decision to start with Venkatesh Iyer has shown to be a wise one. Shubman Gill has gained confidence as a result of his accomplishment.
KKR started their chase by hitting Trent Boult for two sixes in the first over. Gill moved down the hall, casually flicking the MI left-arm pacer over deep square leg. In the same area, Iyer then pulled one off the front foot. In Adam Milne's second over, there were more boundaries. Iyer chipped a four between cover point and cover and swung a six over short fine leg. After two overs, KKR reached 30 for no loss thanks to a streaky four off the last ball.
Jasprit Bumrah also scored a boundary from Gill and Iyer, but MI's leading bowler broke the stand to give the bowling side some much-needed relief. Bumrah bowled gill (13) with a more offcut, which the KKR opener sliced onto the stumps. In three overs, the opening stand was worth 40 runs.
KKR's runs continued to flow, however, as Rahul Tripathi joined Iyer. Krunal Pandya, the left-arm spinner, gave both of them a six each. IIn the seventh over, Iyer cleared the ropes at deep midwicket, while Tripathi began the ninth over with a six over long-on. In the meanwhile, Rahul Chahar struck for two fours in his opening over. Bumrah's 10th over yielded 14 runs, including five wides off a bouncer. That was MI's day in a nutshell.
Iyer's fifty came off only 25 balls, the fastest by a KKR hitter against Mumbai. Tripathi then reached his half-century in 29 deliveries, albeit in a streaky manner. He tried to paddle a yorker-length delivery but got a leading edge, so the ball went to the third man and skirted the boundary on the full, taunting Krunal's outstretched arms.
A slower ball stopped Iyer's brilliance from Bumrah, but Tripathi continued to have a good time. Eoin Morgan, the KKR captain, was dismissed for 7, but Tripathi was on the receiving end when Nitish Rana scored the winning four off Rohit Sharma's bowling.