Clinical KKR first to qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs


In a rain-reduced, 16-over-a-side contest, the bowlers and Venkatesh Iyer helped Kolkata Knight Riders usurp Mumbai Indians by 18 runs at Eden Gardens. With this victory, KKR also became the first team to progress to the playoff stage of IPL 2024.

The Chakaravarthy show 

That Varun Chakaravarthy is a class act in T20 cricket is a known fact. He yet again gave a glimpse of his prowess by picking up two wickets for just 17 runs in four overs. He mixed up his lengths and pace to keep the batters guessing. Eventually, he was rewarded with the wicket of Rohit Sharma. He also troubled Suryakumar Yadav, the mainstay of the MI batting unit, and followed it up by removing Hardik Pandya. 

Sunil Narine, Chakaravarthy’s spin partner, Andre Russell and Harshit Rana played their part by sharing five scalps between them. As a result of the bowlers chipping away with wickets, MI finished up with just 139 on the board in a chase of 158.

Rohit Sharma and his struggles

In the third over itself, the former MI skipper seemed to be struggling for timing as he attempted a few heaves while facing Vaibhav Arora. He then found it rather difficult to pick Chakaravarthy. Rohit Sharma also looked to play reverse sweeps while facing the spinner, before he fell to a conventional sweep. With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, the Indian think tank would be a tad worried with the form of their captain.

Cameos from Venkatesh and Ishan

When KKR batted, there was some movement off the seam. Venkatesh Iyer, who came out to bat at 6 for 1, played a volley of shots. It is true that he was beaten on the outside edge on enough occasions, but he showed the required intent in the Powerplay overs. Ultimately, he was dismissed by Piyush Chawla, the leg-spinner. However, by then, KKR had made a recovery and were scoring at around 10 an over. For MI, Ishan cracked a fine 22-ball 40, but he had to end up on the losing side.

Rain makes its presence felt

The start of the game was delayed by around two hours because of rain and wet outfield. The good part was the groundsmen had covered the entire ground. The rain stopped at around 19.30 pm. And just over an hour later, the umpires gave the green signal that the conditions were good enough for the match to commence.