Halfway through the chase, Kolkata needed 72 more runs with nine wickets in the kitty. How did they throw it from there? The answer is not difficult. Kolkata managed the dubious feat through some callous stroke play to burden themselves at first and following it with going into their shell to let Mumbai’s gun death-overs bowlers get the better of them at the end.
But from the perspective of everyone other than the fans of the Knight Riders, the fifth match of IPL 2021 was another nail-biting encounter filled to the brim with some good performances, drama and new entries as memorable statistics.
1) Trial by spin in the Powerplay
Choking MI’s top-order with spin upfront, KKR started with spin for the first five overs of the night. Had a spinner bowled the sixth over too, this would have been only the second time in IPL history for the tweakers to bowl all six overs of the Powerplay.
Still, KKR are the only side to bowl five or more overs in the Powerplay with spinners as many as six times, an IPL record.
For those wondering, it was CSK who bowled spin in all Powerplay overs against Kolkata in Ranchi in 2014.
2) Russell – KKR’s show stopper
Since IPL 2019, Andre Russell has bowled 21.1 overs for KKR at the death, more than any other bowler. Tonight, what he achieved in two overs, no other bowler ever could for KKR since the beginning of the IPL. His spell of 5/15 is the best-ever bowling figures for the Kolkata franchise.
Before the last game, no bowler ever managed to get a five-wicket haul against MI. Now two have done so in consecutive games. This is also the first time ever that an IPL franchise saw a bowler take five wickets against them in consecutive games. Needless to say, these are Russell’s best figures in IPL as well.
3) Look who rolled his arm over
Never mind he has an IPL hat-trick to his name, one does not see Rohit Sharma rolling his arm over anymore. Maybe it is because him not being a specimen of a modern-day cricketer in terms of fitness. Tonight, he gave MI a scare when he twisted his foot while gearing up to bowl the 14th over. Good for them, he recovered quickly and completed one over to two left-handers in the middle.
Before this game, Rohit last bowled in the 2014 season. The difference of six years and 342 days since he last bowled and a gap of 98 games between now and then is the longest duration between two overs for a bowler in IPL ever. Next to him in terms of matches is Virat Kohli who in 2015 bowled after a gap of 48 matches.
4) Chahar to the rescue
Before tonight, Rahul Chahar was wicket-less in the last three IPL games. He got a wicket in each of the four overs he bowled tonight. If MI have anyone to thank apart from KKR’s batsmen for the win tonight, it has to be Chahar.
It started with Shubman Gill holding out while looking to go over Chahar's head. Then he produced a beauty to dismiss Rahul Tripathi caught behind. When Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana suffered a brain fade, they helped Chahar register his best IPL figures.
5) Last but not the least
Kolkata threw away a chance to bury the ghosts of their face-off against Mumbai Indians. Now with another loss, they have helped Mumbai improve their record against them to 78.6% wins.
As it was before the game, this is the most skewed fixture in the history of IPL excluding the now-defunct sides.