KKR break Wankhede jinx, MI officially out of contention

Sunil Narine celebrates a wicket vs Mumbai Indians (Photo: IPL/BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders recorded their first win against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium after 2012, by defending an apparently low total of 169. It was a complete bowling performance by the Knights, with Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell and the spin duo of Narine-Varun shining with the ball. Starc will be delighted to finish with four wickets, including three in his final over that ended the match. KKR strengthened their second place on the points table with 14 points from 10 matches. MI are officially out of playoff contention, with six from 11.

Salt-Narine duo fails

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt have been the most destructive openers in IPL 2024, specialising in optimising the Powerplay. However, on this day the pair fared miserably, as Nuwan Thusara gave the first breakthrough by dismissing Salt for five in the opening over. After seeing two more wickets fall from the other end, Narine was cleaned up by Hardik Pandya for eight. Having made 392 and 372 runs, respectively, before this match, Salt and Narine were expected to provide a better start.

KKR’s middle-order struggle

The opening pair had been setting up a solid platform for KKR this season. Such was their domination that the middle-order was often restricted to providing cameos. However, when the team needed them the most, the middle-order fell to MI’s bowling. After Salt departed in the first over, Angkrish Raghuvanshi was sent packing by Thusara in the third over for 13. Captain Shreyas Iyer followed in the same over after a half-hearted flick to mid-on. Rinku Singh struggled to rotate strike before getting caught and bowled by the experienced Piyush Chawla. Venkatesh Iyer and Manish Pandey kept KKR in the match with their sixth-wicket stand.

How good is Bumrah?

Bumrah was once again a class apart, as he finished 3/18 in 3.5 overs with the dismissals of Ramandeep Singh, Starc and Venkatesh Iyer. Bumrah was economical with the new ball and came back to clean up the tail at the death. With three dismissals, Bumrah is again the leading wicket-taker of the season with 17 scalps in 11 games. His yorker to Starc was one for the highlight reels.

Rohit’s struggle continues

A few eyebrows were raised when Rohit Sharma was left out of the MI XI and captain Pandya gave no reason behind the move. While Suresh Raina said on air that Rohit was suffering from a stiff back, the ‘Hitman’ struggled to get going after coming on as the Impact Player. Rohit managed just 11 off 12 before Narine once again got his wicket. This was the 10th time the KKR spinner got rid of the India opener, which is the most in all T20s after Dwayne Bravo’s 10 dismissals of Kieron Pollard.

Spin choke from Narine-Varun

As soon as Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy were introduced in the Powerplay, they worked their magic. With the ball gripping a bit despite heavy due at the Wankhede, Narine and Varun bowled tight lines. Varun drew first blood by dismissing Naman Dhir for 11 before Narine sent Rohit packing for the same score. Varun then got rid of an in-form Tilak Varma for four as KKR tightened their grip on the middle-order. MI were 71/6 in 11.2 overs before Suryakumar Yadav pushed the accelerator with the bat. Both Narine and Varun conceded 22 runs and took two wickets each.

Suryakumar fights back

Walking out to bat at 38/2 after 4.1 overs, Surya quickly saw half of the batting unit back in the hut in the next six overs, without contributing much with the bat. He stepped on the gas in the 14th over when he took on Vaibhav Arora to plunder 20 runs. He raced to his half-century off 30 balls. However, he was soon dismissed by Russell for a fighting 56 off 35. After that dismissal, it was a matter of time for the KKR pacers as they bundled out MI for 145, winning by 24 runs.