Rohit Sharma leads from the front as Mumbai Indians cruise past Kolkata Knight Riders
Mumbai Indians 188-4 (Sharma 84no) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 187-5 (Gambhir 64) by six wickets
Fifth match, Indian Premier League, Kolkata
Rohit Sharma’s glitzy innings of unbeaten 84 runs along with cameos from Mitchell McClenaghan and Jos Buttler gave Mumbai Indians the necessary firepower to chase down a target of 188 runs to defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in the fifth match of the Indian Premier League in Kolkata.
Earlier, classy fifties from Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey followed by a blistering cameo from Andre Russell helped Kolkata amass 187 for five in 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to field first. Tim Southee (0-43) and Jasprit Bumrah (0-32) started the innings with a tight over each but Robin Uthappa (8) and Gambhir (64) scored 13 runs from the third over to even the scales.
Trying to take on McClenaghan (2-25), Uthappa holed out in the covers but Gambhir and Pandey (52) combined to take Kolkata Knight Riders to 40 for one by the end of the powerplay.
Gambhir, who was playing a rather patient knock, was dropped in the ninth over and with Pandey dealing in boundaries and sixes, Kolkata Knight Riders posted 81 for one at the halfway mark.
Pandey and Gambhir upped the ante and plundered 28 runs from the next two overs and the Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain reached his 39-ball fifty in the 12th over. Pandey was not far behind as he also brought up his own fifty in just 26-balls.
The pair added 100 runs for the second wicket in 10 overs before Harbhajan Singh (1-31) took a simple return catch to dismiss Pandey.
Russell (36) announced his arrival with three sixes and a four in overs 15 and 16, following it up with another six in the 17th over. Russell’s 17-ball cameo ended when he played onto his stumps facing McClenaghan.
Kolkata Knight Riders lost Gambhir and Colin Munro (4) in the final two overs and scored 17 more runs to reach 187 for five in 20 overs.
Sharma (84 not out) got the chase underway with a six over deep square leg and along with Parthiv Patel (23), the Mumbai Indians’ skipper gave his team the perfect start.
The pair scored eight boundaries and a six inside the first five overs, racing away to 50 for naught.
Patel called for a risky single and ended up being run out in the sixth over. Two more tight overs followed but Mumbai Indians scored 87 for one at the halfway mark.
Hardik Pandya (9) holed out to long off in the 11th over following which McClenaghan (20) was promoted as a pinch hitter.
The 29-year-old grabbed the chance and struck three sixes in his eight-ball stay at the crease which was ended by Kuldeep Yadav (1-37).
Sharma completed his fifty in the 14th over and with Buttler (41) in tow, 17 runs came from the 15th over, leaving 49 runs still needed for a win.
Buttler launched into Russell (1-52) and smashed two sixes and a four in the 16th over but two disciplined overs brought the equation to 18 runs from 12 balls.
Russell managed to take Buttler’s wicket in the 19th over but Sharma cantered him for 17 runs, levelling the scores.
Mumbai Indians cruised to a six-wicket win in 19.1 overs with Sharma taking home the man of the match award for his unbeaten 84.
This result brought Kolkata Knight Riders to the fourth place in the points table while Mumbai Indians have moved to the fifth place.
© Cricket World 2016