• IPL 10, 2nd Qualifier, MI vs KKR – 5 Game Changing Moments

    Led by a fantastic bowling performance, Mumbai Indians reached the finals of IPL 2017 with a 6-wicket win against KKR in the second Qualifier held in Bengaluru.

    Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians
    Mumbai Indians were professional against KKR. (Photo: Dhananjay TK/IANS)

    Mumbai Indians strode to victory against KKR to seal a spot in the finals. Chasing a small target of 108, Mumbai Indians got home with 6 wickets in hand and more than 5 overs to spare. KKR were put in to bat by Rohit Sharma and could muster to just 107 runs in the 2nd Qualifier held at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

    KKR’s innings never got going as their top order was rocked by some disciplined Mumbai bowling. They were reduced to 31/5 in 7 overs and a 56-run stand between Ishank Jaggi and Suryakumar Yadav ensured that they reach triple figures. Leg-spinner Karn Sharma was the pick of the bowlers and was awarded the Man of the Match for his career best figures of 4/16.

    The chase was relatively easy as Krunal Pandya got them home playing a smart inning of 45*. KKR gave a bit of fight in the early overs when they picked three wickets to have Mumbai reeling ever so slightly at 34/3. Pandya ensured that there were no butterflies in the stomach in the Mumbai dugout with an enterprising knock which came off just 30 balls and was studded with 8 boundaries.

    Let us have a look at the 5 game-changing moments of the 2nd Qualifier between KKR and MI:

    1) Bumrah helped Mumbai to see the back of Lynn early

    Chris Lynn was a big threat with his attacking instincts and Jasprit Bumrah ensured that the Australian hit an early shower. Bumrah usually bowled in the middle overs all season but Rohit handed him with the new ball which turned out to a great tactically move. Looking to cut loose early, Lynn hit one straight to long-on, which had dropped back a delivery ago, in the second over. Bumrah did not give any room for Lynn’s hand to swing freely. With Lynn gone, KKR’s middle-order came under immense pressure. The fast bowler struck again in the sixth over to send Uthappa back early as he was trapped in front trying to play the ball on the on-side.

    2) Karn Sharma runs through the KKR middle order

    Bowling with the hard new ball against two left-handers as a leg-spinner is always a tough proposition. A cool Karn Sharma stuck to his task and got the wicket of Narine as he was stumped off a googly. Karn’s double strikes in the seventh over – one of Gambhir and the other of Grandhomme – put KKR into deep mire as they were reduced to 31/5 in 7 overs. The leg-spinner bowled with great control with the hard new ball and used his googlies to good effect to get amongst the wickets.

    3) Karn Sharma struck again to end any hopes of a KKR revival

    Chasing in a big game is tricky and just when Jaggi and Suryakumar started rebuilding the innings Rohit called on Karn again. A target of 130 looked well in sight as the duo added 56 runs in 41 balls to give KKR a glimmer of hope. Karn struck in his last over to capture his fourth wicket of the night when Jaggi hit one straight to Mitchell Johnson at long-on. KKR were 6 down for 87 and folded for 107 soon.

    4) Piyush Chawla’s double strikes gave KKR a sniff

    Chawla shared the new ball with Umesh Yadav and immediately struck with his third delivery when Simmons was adjudged leg-before the wicket. He was getting the ball to drift into the right-handers and bowled in good areas to keep it tight. He struck again in the 6th over to castle Ambati Rayudu off a peach of a delivery. Coming in with the arm, Rayudu played inside the line and the ball spun just a little bit to hit the off stump, making it a perfect leg-spinners dismissal. At 34/3, KKR started believing.

    5) Rohit, Pandya got them close with a steady partnership

    When Rohit Sharma came out to bat, every Mumbai supporter had their fingers crossed. Rohit has gotten out to leg-spinners quite a number of times this year and with Chawla bowling with great control, there was every chance of him getting into trouble. The Mumbai Indians skipper did well to counter the early threat and looked good to remain unbeaten till the last runs were knocked off. In a bid to make a statement, Rohit smacked Coulter-Nile but found the lone fielder on the deep square leg boundary. He made a valuable 26 to get his side close to a win. The last rites were performed by Krunal Pandya, who was involved in a 54-run 4th wicket stand with his skipper. The left-hander remained unbeaten on 45 alongside Pollard, who was the other batsman not out on 9.

    Mumbai Indians now travel to Hyderabad to play the finals of the IPL in a Maharashtra Derby. They have been up against RPS thrice this season but have failed to win a single game against them. Maybe they have saved their best for the finals.