Kolkata: The chances of Kolkata Knight Riders finishing in the top two places in the Indian Premier League points table ended on Saturday when Mumbai Indians defeated them by nine runs to top the table with 20 points. Earlier in the day, Sunrisers Hyderabad had beaten Gujarat Lions to take their total points to 17 one more than Kolkata, who finish at 16.
Chasing a target of 174 runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata fell short by 10 runs as they lost regular wickets and failed to cross the line despite being ahead of the required run-rate for a major part of the chase. This was their first defeat while chasing at Eden Gardens since 2013.
After the loss, Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir admitted that his batsmen went out there and tried to throw their bat. The left-handed batsman was spot in his observation as half of the Kolkata batsmen got starts but could not stay the crease long enough to take their team home.
Manish Pandey made 33 runs off as many balls but even that was not enough as Kolkata’s highest partnership was only 41 runs, between Pandey and Colin de Grandhomme who made 29 runs.
Kolkata once again sent Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn as the openers but this experiment did not work out as Tim Southee removed the former in the first over itself. Gambhir scored 21 runs but Mitchell Johnson had him caught by Karn Sharma in the fifth over.
It was time for Karn to be bowler who took the wicket as he foxed Robin Uthappa in his spin and he was caught by Rohit Sharma on the final ball of the powerplay. Kolkata were 53 for the loss of three wickets at the this stage.
Lynn once again looked dangerous three fours and two sixes for his 26 runs off 13 balls but he fell off the 14th ball he faced, caught at deep square-leg. Yusuf Pathan hit three sixes in his 20-run knock but he faced only six balls, before falling to Vinay Kumar off the seventh.
This was the stage when Pandey and de Grandhomme stitched that partnership but Hardik Pandya castled the latter and despite the required rate under check, Kolkata had lost too many wickets. The final nail in the coffin was when Pnadey fell at the start of the 18th over and the tail was exposed to some quality bowling from Mumbai.
Not only the bowlers but the batsmen also came good for Mumbai. Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu, noth playing their first game of the season, scored half-centuries to guide their team towards a big total.
The start for Mumbai was not on a right note as they lost Lendl Simmons for a duck in the third over but Rohit and Tiwary stablisied the innings. The captain scored 26 runs before being adjudged leg-before wicket.
It was Rayudu’s turn to take over and he scored some quick runs for his team. He shared a 71-run stand with Tiwary, who was later run out. Rayudu himself fell for 64.
Mumbai Indians - 173 for 5 (Rayudu 63, Tiwary 53, Boult 2-30)
Kolkata Knight Riders - 164 for 8 (Pandey 33, Hardik 2-22, Vinay 2-31, Southee 2-39)
Result - Mumbai Indians won by 9 runs