IPL 2021 | Venkatesh, Tripathi power Knight Riders to thumping win

Rohit and de Kock put on 78 for the opening wicket before KKR pulled things back through Ferguson, Prasidh, Narine and Varun

Venkatesh Iyer (53, 30b, 4×4, 3×6) and Rahul Tripathi (74, 42b, 8×4, 3×6) made light of a target of 156 with some bold and brutal hitting to take Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians at Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The victory, with 4.5 overs to spare, took Eoin Morgan’s team to the top four.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma, donning the Mumbai Indians jersey for the first time in the second leg, gave his team a perfect start along with opening partner Quinton de Kock. Kieron Pollard played a cameo at the fag end. Still, the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling unit ensured its superlative performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the week wasn’t a fluke, restricting Mumbai Indians to 155 for six.

As a result, Eoin Morgan’s men would have been the happier lot at the break, especially after the manner in which Rohit and de Kock got off the blocks.

With MI having started the United Arab Emirates leg with a lacklustre batting display, it didn’t come as a surprise when Morgan opted to unleash his bowlers against the defending champion at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Thursday.

However, Rohit and de Kock — both having been troubled by the mystery spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy in the recent past — took the fizz out of both the spinners with panache.

When pace was introduce in the fifth over, de Kock tonked three sixes off Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna to help MI race to 56 for no loss at the end of the PowerPlay.

The spinners then tightened the noose, which resulted in Rohit holing out in the deep off Narine in the 10th over. With neither Suryakumar Yadav nor Ishan Kishan getting his act together and de Kock being unable to time the ball sweetly off a softer ball on a slowing surface, MI appeared to have lost the plot.

Having conceded just 65 runs off the 11 overs after the PowerPlay, Knight Riders had to keep Kieron Pollard — who walked in with 31 balls to spare — in check to sign off on a perfect note.

Brief Scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill b Bumrah 13 Venkatesh Iyer b Bumrah 53 Rahul Tripathi not out 74 Eoin Morgan c Boult b Bumrah 7 Nitish Rana not out 5 Extras: (LB-1, W-6) 7

Total: (For 3 wickets in 15.1 overs) 159 Fall of wickets: 40-1, 128-2, 147-3 Bowling: Trent Boult 2-0-23-0, Adam Milne 3-0-29-0, Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-43-3, Krunal Pandya 3-0-25-0, Rahul Chahar 3-0-34-0, Rohit Sharma 0.1-0-4-0.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma c Shubman Gill b Narine 33, Quinton de Kock c Narine b Prasidh Krishna 55, Suryakumar Yadav c Karthik b Prasidh Krishna 5, Ishan Kishan c Russell b Ferguson 14, Kieron Pollard run out (Morgan/Ferguson) 21, Krunal Pandya c Iyer b Ferguson 12, Saurabh Tiwary not out 5, Adam Milne not out 1. Extras: (LB-1, NB-2, W-6) 9

Total: (For 6 wickets in 20 overs) 155 Fall of wickets: 1-78, 2-89, 3-10, 4-119, 5-149, 6-149 Bowling: Nitish Rana 1-0-5-0, Varun Chakravarthy 4-0-22-0, Sunil Narine 4-0-20-1, Lockie Ferguson 4-0-27-2, Prasidh Krishna 4-0-43-2, Andre Russell 3-0-37-0.

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