Mumbai: Mumbai Indians, led by Sachin Tendulkar (71), clinched a seven wicket victory over a hapless looking Kolkata outfit, placing their bid for the Indian Premier League title right up on the top.
The home team never let go of their strategy throughout the game, making sure that a win was inevitable. With boundaries flowing from the bat of local hero Sachin, spectators got their money’s worth.
Murali Kartik had got the first breakthrough for Kolkata with the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan (23) while Sachin Tendulkar looked good for a big knock at the other end. His spell was crucial to keep his team’s hopes alive as a tight economy rate ensured the piling up of pressure on the batsmen while Ishant Sharma banked on the window of opportunity, scalping two quick wickets.
However, another 20 runs could have made all the difference for Ganguly’s men, which was not the case, thus showing them the ignominy of defeat yet again.
Kolkata Knight Riders had registered their highest total against Mumbai Indians as the scorecard read 155/3 at the end of the first innings. Chris Gayle too slammed his highest total (75) against Mumbai, but all this was overshadowed by the tight line and length of Tendulkar’s men who made sure that the beauty of a wicket was not exploited, as everyone expected a competitive total to be around 180-190 runs.
A ploy of bowling fuller length deliveries by the Mumbai Indians saw the opposition desperate for big runs as the batsmen found fielders every time the willow kissed the cherry.
The visitors were off to a decent start with the opening pair of Gayle and Ganguly piling up pressure on the new ball bowlers. Their partnership was also the team’s highest ever opening stand against Mumbai Indians.
Never did the Knight Riders looked dominating the field, even with wickets in hand.
Scorecard: KKR Vs Mumbai Indians»
Sadly, the wickets in hand did not reap rich benefits for Ganguly’s men as Mumbai Indians came up with the execution of a brilliant bowling strategy, drying up the boundaries with deliveries that were slower in pace and faster in efficiency.
In one of the most anticipated and high profile matches of the week, a jam-packed stadium waited to witness fireworks on a beauty of a pitch, and they were treated to some good shot making from the willow of the Bengal Tiger, but he fell before converting his efforts into a milestone.