Matches 27: Mumbai 21, Kolkata 6
The captaincy was handed over to Eoin Morgan but even the World Cup winning-skipper couldn't change Kolkata Knight Riders' fate as they were once again outclassed by Mumbai Indians. Pat Cummins and Morgan put up a decent fight but they were no match to Quinton de Kock who hammered a 44-ball 78 and guided Mumbai to an eight-wicket win in Match No. 32 of the Indian Premier League 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Friday (October 16).
Opting to bat, Kolkata were down and out before Cummins smoked his maiden T20 fifty to propel them to a competitive total of 148/5. Cummins scored 53* off 36 and put on an unbeaten stand of 87 with Morgan (29-ball 39*) for the sixth wicket after Kolkata were reduced to 61/5. In response, de Kock added 90 runs for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma and got Mumbai over the line in 16.5 overs. With this win, Mumbai have moved back to the top of the table. Meanwhile, Kolkata are still at No. 4 with eight points to their name in as many games.
Earlier Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile extracted good movement with the new ball and didn't allow Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi to get off to an explosive start. Tripathi was once again promoted up the order after Kolkata left out Tom Banton. The right-hander from Maharashtra however couldn't cash in as Suryakumar Yadav took a stunner at point to send him back for 7. Rohit used four bowlers in the Powerplay and didn't allow the Kolkata batsmen to settle in.
Playing his first game of the season, Coulter-Nile didn't have to wait too long for his first wicket as he had Nitish Rana (5) caught behind with a well-directed bouncer. Gill kept one side intact and also played a couple of eye-pleasing shots, but Kolkata could only manage 33 in the Powerplay. Coming in at No. 4, Dinesh Karthik didn't look comfortable and struggled to get the ball away.
Runs were difficult to come by and Gill (23-ball 21) tried to go after his former Under-19 teammate Rahul Chahar, only to end up mistiming one to the fielder at long-on. Earlier today, Karthik volunteered to hand over the captaincy to focus on his batting, but that didn't change his luck. On the very next delivery, the wicketkeeper-batsman tried to sweep Chahar but ended up dragging it back onto the stumps. The onus fell on the shoulders of Morgan and Andre Russell to lead Kolkata to a competitive total, but Rohit was having none of it.
The Mumbai skipper wasted no time in bringing Bumrah back into the attack and the ace paceman once again did the job for his team by getting rid of Russell for 12 with a sharp bumper. Morgan finally found an able ally in Cummins who looked positive from the word go and went after his countrymate Coulter-Nile, smashing him for two fours and a six in an over. With Morgan struggling at the other end, Cummins brought that much-required momentum and kept the scoreboard moving.
Coulter-Nile and Boult were inconsistent but Bumrah was outstanding with his variations and finished with figures of 1/22. It was Cummins who dominated the partnership till the penultimate over before Morgan finally cut loose in Coulter-Nile's final over. After Cummins completed his maiden T20 fifty, Morgan finished things off with a couple of sixes, as Kolkata managed to accumulate 35 runs in the last two overs.
In reply, de Kock and Rohit got Mumbai off to a superb start and killed the game inside six overs. The KKR bowlers were either too full or too short and both de Kock and Rohit made the most of it. It was Rohit who did most of the scoring in the first three overs before de Kock made his presence felt by clobbering Cummins for consecutive boundaries. The wicketkeeper-batsman never looked back from thereon and forced Rohit to take the back seat.
Mumbai managed 51 in the Powerplay, their first 50-plus opening partnership of the season. De Kock just kept the attack going and blasted Prasidh Krishna for 16 runs in the seventh over. Meanwhile, Rohit was more than happy to play the second fiddle and allowed de Kock to dictate terms. The South African batsman completed his fifty with a maximum over long leg, but Rohit couldn't stay till the end and was dismissed by Shivam Mavi for a 36-ball 35. Mavi and Varun Chakravarthy (1/23) kept things tight for a couple of overs, with the latter also knocking over the in-form Suryakumar for 10.
The required rate was less than six and with de Kock at the crease, Kolkata had no chance of making a comeback. While de Kock continued to wreak havoc, Hardik Pandya too joined the fun and tonked 21* off 11 deliveries to put the finishing touch.