Mumbai Indians’s record of being undefeated at home remained intact as they registered their sixth straight win at the Wankhede by defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 65 runs on Tuesday.
Mumbai Indians continue to reign supreme at home as they thrashed defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 65 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
The win helped Mumbai Indians climb up the ladder to 2nd position in the IPL table.
This is Mumbai’s sixth consecutive win at the Wankhede and they have a perfect record at the Wankhede this IPL season.
Chasing a stiff target of 171 to win, Kolkata started badly losing skipper Gautam Gambhir in the very first over and things only went from bad to worse.
Mitchell Johnson claimed the Kolkata skipper’s scalp off the fourth delivery. Gambhir’s ordinary season continued as he got an inside edge onto the stumps to be dismissed for nought.
Harbhajan Singh starred with the ball for Mumbai taking three crucial wickets. Pragyan Ojha and Mitchell Johnson took a couple of wickets each.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians got off to their best start this season but then lost their way before finishing with a flourish to post a challenging 170 for six.
Sachin Tendulkar used the field restrictions in the initial overs to hit eight fours in an attractive innings of 48 off 28 balls, while Dwayne Smith made 47 off 52 before both departed in close succession after putting on 93 for the first wicket after Mumbai opted to bat first.
Thereafter only Dinesh Karthik, who made an unbeaten 34 in 18 balls with 2 sixes and 3 fours, prospered while Mumbai lost wickets at regular intervals before adding 26 runs in the last nine balls through Karthik and Mitchell Johnson (10 not out).
Ryan Mclaren picked up two wickets in one over but was smashed around for 60 runs while the Knight Riders’ best bowler Laxmipathi Balaji was not given his full quota in a strange decision by Gambhir.
Tendulkar struck McLaren for five fours in the 4th over which included drives to the off and two successive pull shots, after he had spanked the same bowler for successive straight-driven boundaries in his first over. But Smith struggled to put bat to the ball against Balaji who started off with a maiden over to the West Indian in an excellent first spell of 3 overs for 7 runs.
Thanks to Tendulkar, who looked in good touch, the Mumbai score reached 41 at the end of the first 6 power play overs and 50 after the 7th.
But once the field spread out Smith used his extra power to execute boundaries.
The floodlights in one tower failed after the 9th over and the players had to leave the field till the problem was sorted out after 18 minutes.
At the halfway stage, Mumbai were 69 without loss, Smith having gone ahead of Tendulkar.
Tendulkar once again raced ahead of his partner with a couple of boundary in successive overs as the opening wicket stand raised by the two became the highest of the season, bettering the previous best of 54 between the two against Pune Warriors here on April 13.
The stand was nipped by Rajat Bhatia coming on for Jacques Kallis who deceived and clean bowled Tendulkar with a slower ball when he was well posed to score his first half century of the tournament. The batsman tried to paddle sweep and missed.
In the next over, Smith too departed caught at long on off Abdulla at 99 to bring together Mumbai’s most consistent batsmen of the season Dinesh Karthik and skipper Rohit Sharma.
It was left to the two batsmen to propel the innings and Sharma began the acceleration by cutting Bhatia for a four and then lofting him into the stands over long on for his first six in the 16th over that yielded 13 runs.
The next over by Sunil Narine yielded 11 runs after Karthik swung the bowler over the midwicket rope for a six.
But the hosts lost four wickets in quick succession for the addition of only 14 runs in the end phase.
Sharma departed in the next over from McLaren to a brilliantly juggled catch in the deep by Eoin Morgan who knew he will overbalance and go over the rope and threw the ball up, went over and then came back into the field to complete a fine catch.
Kieron Pollard fell in the same over after facing four balls during which he hit a four and was then caught trying to repeat the pull shot.
Mumbai then lost the wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh in the space of four balls through splendid fielding by Balaji and Yusuf Pathan. Both were out without facing a ball.
From 144 for six, Karthik and Johnson added quick runs to enable Mumbai to finish with a healthy score.