IPL 2021: Match 34, MI vs KKR – Who Said What

KKR jumped to the fourth spot in the tally with their seven-wicket win.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: Twitter/IPL)
Pratyay Tiwari


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Kolkata Knight Riders broke their Mumbai Indians jinx, securing a seven-wicket win to climb to the fourth spot in the tally on the back of some serious ball-striking by Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer after their bowlers did well to restrict Mumbai to a modest 155.

Coming against a side who had got the better of them 22 times out of 28 before this clash, KKR needed a touch of luck and exceedingly good performance in all departments, not least because Mumbai was bolstered by the services of their inspirational Rohit Sharma. On the given day, KKR got an adequate mix of both to marginally improve the record against their bogey team.

After opting to field, Kolkata bowlers were pushed on the backfoot as Mumbai got off to a flying start, with Quinton de Kock and Rohit adding 78 off just 56. Although once Sunil Narine removed the latter for 33, they lost all momentum, with Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna claiming two wickets each. Ever so effective against RCB, Varun Chakravarthy did not get a wicket but was again at his frugal best, giving just 22 in his four, while Narine returned with 1/20.

Despite leaking 43 in his four overs, Prasidh Krishna was somewhat responsible to push Mumbai on the backfoot, removing half-centurion de Kock, who got 55 off 32, and Suryakumar Yadav for 5 in quick succession. Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard fell without adding much, which meant KKR were set an unimposing 156-run target.

In response, KKR seemed in a rush right from the onset, with openers Iyer and Shubman Gill taking on Trent Boult and Adam Milne with disdain. The 18-ball 40 opening stand was broken by Jasprit Bumrah, who sent back Shubman Gill for 13, but that only brought more trouble for Mumbai Indians as Rahul Tripathi joined a belligerent Iyer in the middle. Iyer rebuked each one of the opponent bowlers, notching up his 50 in just 25 balls before being dismissed for 53 off 30, including four fours and three sixes.

While Iyer kept the limelight on himself, Tripathi quietly kept chipping runs from his end, and stood unbeaten on 74 off 42, with eight fours and three sixes to finish the game for his side.

Losing captain Rohit Sharma:

Few areas (went wrong). We started really well but didn’t get enough towards the back end. I thought it was a good pitch, we failed to capitalize on the start we got and we didn’t bowl well at the start. I don’t want to look into it too much, things can happen and you have to move on. After a good start we had to get small partnerships but we kept losing wickets at regular intervals, it is not easy for new batters to go in and start hitting the ball. It is something that happened in the last game as well and we will address it. It is always there at the back of the mind on where you stand, we are still in the middle of the table, so we have to get back and fight and hopefully get some wins on the trot.

Winning captain Eoin Morgan:

Well it’s been a long time coming. Since Baz (McCullum) has taken over last year, the way we have played in the last two games is the way our coach wants us to play. It suits our talent to play this way. To hold such a strong Mumbai Indians side to 155 and chase this down gives us confidence. Fitting Venkatesh Iyer into our XI has been difficult with a lot of talented guys, and it’s fanastic the way he’s scored his runs. In the practice games too he has gone on to play this way. Sunil and Chakravarthy are two formidable bowlers. Sunil has been integral to KKR winning when they’ve done. Varun is the fresh guy. The first two games in this phase has been the template for us to play. There’s only one way for us to go in the points table and that is upwards.

Player of the Match Sunil Narine:

Coming off a good amount of cricket in The Hundred and CPL. Getting better and better. Its taken a while for me with this new action, and I’ve put a lot of work into it. Just want to continue the good work. Getting Rohit out in any type of cricket is good. Its a key wicket against Mumbai. Varun likes to know about the game and asks a lot of questions. He’s a quick learner, someone who likes to know about cricket, and has far to go. Flatter pitch than before but not as quick as usual. I think my batting is based on what the team requirement is