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IPL 10, Match 54, KKR v MI Review: Ambati Rayudu saves the day for the Mumbai Indians in his IPL return

The winners of the Rising Pune Supergiant- Kings XI Punjab would capture the fourth place in the IPL table after all the other teams qualified for the playoffs.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya celebrate fall of Sunil Narine’s wicket. (Photo: IANS)

It was almost clear just before the match that both the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad would qualify thanks to the latter’s convincing victory over the helpless Gujarat Lions. However, the top two was still not confirmed as a win for the Knight Riders would lead them to the second spot and would enable them to have two cracks at the cherry.

The Knight Riders led by Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to field on the tracks which were swinging from the very first ball at the Eden Gardens. Batting first, the Mumbai Indians made as many as six changes for this game as they had already secured a place in the playoffs.

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Rohit Sharma’s changes were right from the starting of the batting line-up with Saurabh Tiwary and Lendl Simmons, with Tiwary replacing the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel. Also, the run-scorer Nitish Rana was replaced by the incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu.

In the bowling department, Mumbai Indians reshuffled their entire bowling unit, with their leading wicket-taker Mitchell McClenaghan sitting out for fellow Kiwi bowler Tim Southee. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga was replaced by the left-arm bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Change in batting order

Batting in at the top of the order was Saurabh Tiwary and the West Indian Lendl Simmons. While Tiwary struck the ball sweetly off the middle of the bat, Simmons on the other end struggled to time the ball. Eventually, a tame shot from the West Indian led to his downfall in the third over of the innings. Captain Rohit Sharma and Tiwary got off to a good partnership adding 57 runs for the second wicket before a skiddy delivery from Ankit Rajpoot took the former by surprise.

Ambati Rayudu, walking into bat for the second time in the tournament, scored a vital 63 runs from 37 deliveries scoring six boundaries and three sixes in the process. However, the partnership came to a horrible end with Tiwary not responding to the call from Rayudu. Eventually, it was the opener who was dismissed after failing to make a quick start to run.

Once the wicketkeeper Rayudu got out to the spinner Kuldeep Yadav, it was left to the West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to steer the Indians to a good total. Pollard showed glimpses of his form with a six before holing out to Yusuf Pathan off Trent Boult’s bowling to leave the Indians short of 170.

The Mumbai Indians crashed and struggled to end the innings with 173/5 in their 20 overs after scoring nearly 80 runs in their first 10 overs.

KKR’s response

In reply, the Knight Riders too got off to the worst of start, with the opener Sunil Narine getting out to an outstanding delivery from Tim Southee. Gambhir got off to a good start before throwing away his wicket to Mitchell Johnson with the score reading 41/2. Karn Sharma struck a vital blow for the visitors picking up the wicket of Robin Uthappa at 53/3 in the sixth over.

The dangerous opener Chris Lynn too departed on the same score. It looked like the Knight Riders were reeling and were caught unaware of the total. Yusuf Pathan’s quick cameo gave the Mumbai Indians a few headaches before holing out during Vinay Kumar’s over.

Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme scored a vital 29 runs from 16 balls before being beaten for pace by Hardik Pandya. Manish Pandey departed with a tame shot at 149/7 to leave the tail enders with a huge task of chasing it down.

Kuldeep Yadav and Trent Boult almost, very nearly took the game away from the visitors before an umpiring error ensured that Kuldeep Yadav walked back to the hut.

At the end of the day, the total was just too much for the Knight Riders to chase even on the ground where they have never lost chasing this season falling short of 9 runs. The table suggested that Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad retained their places at the top of the order with the Knight Riders staying at the third place. The winners of the Rising Pune Supergiant – Kings XI Punjab would capture the fourth place in the IPL table after all the other teams qualified for the playoffs.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai Indians 173/5 in 20 overs (Rayudu 63, Tiwary 52, Boult 2/30, Rajpoot 1/14)

Kolkata Knight Riders 164/8 in 20 overs (Manish 33, Grandhomme 29, Hardik 2/22, Vinay 2/31)

Check full scorecard here.

Check points table here. 

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