Mumbai Indians 153 (Yadav 56, Rohit 43, Russell 5-15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142 for 7 (Rana 57, Gill 33, Chahar 4-27) by 10 runs
Chennai: Mumbai Indian's spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya fashioned an improbable 10-run victory in an IPL encounter at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Tuesday.
The Knight Riders got off to a great start with openers Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill putting together 72 in under 9 overs.
81 runs off 68 deliveries at a required rate of 7.15 with 9 wickets in hand – it was KKR’s match all the way.
Rahul Chahar had been hammered for 43 in his 4 overs against RCB in the season opener in Chennai. He was introduced into the attack in the 9th over against the Knight Riders and was the last hope for Rohit Sharma.
When the leg spinner was hammered for 10 in his first four deliveries – it looked like game, set, match for the young leg break bowler but he had other plans.
Chahar maintained his composure and got the big wicket of Gill with a subtle change – he bowled a bit quicker and fuller and did not give the right-hander any room and had him caught at long-off.
MI had got the breakthrough they were looking for. There was a crack in the batting line-up which had been opened.
Chahar was ecstatic and put in an inspired performance for the rest of the match. He outdid the impressive Rahul Tripathi with a leg spinning ripper inducing the edge to the keeper in his very next over. He then saw the back of the dangerous Eoin Morgan – the captain of KKR – in his third over – the 13th of the innings.
Slowly but surely he was bringing MI back into the contest.
The defining moment and the turning point came when Chahar slid one through Nitish Rana – the top-scorer for KKR – and had him stumped off the last delivery of his spell – the 15th over of the innings.
The 21 year old had completely changed the course of the match.
Four wickets in as many overs conceding just 27 runs in his day’s spell – Chahar had produced a match-defining performance for the Mumbai Indians.
Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult played their part at the death and were a brilliant support act but the hero of the evening for Mumbai Indians was Rahul Chahar.
Chahar has been a consistent performer for Mumbai Indians and played a leading role with the ball in their victorious campaigns in 2019 and 2020. He bagged 13 wickets at a stunning economy rate of 6.55 in 2019 and 15 wickets in the UAE last year.
Even after receiving a hammering against RCB and being hit for a four and a six in his first four deliveries against KKR, Chahar did not get bogged down and lose his rhythm and in fact took upon the challenge to put in an inspired match-winning performance for the Mumbai Indians.