IPL 2017, KKR vs MI: Manish Pandey's departure is SK Turning Point of the match
The top two teams of IPL 2017 were up against each other as table toppers Mumbai Indians visited Kolkata Knight Riders. The clash was going to determine who finishes on top of the points table. MI have had a great record against KKR across 10 seasons and more so at the Eden Gardens. The result of this match didn’t go against the trend too.
MI made six changes to the squad as they wanted to test their bench strength, being already guaranteed a top two spot. After being invited to bat first by the hosts, they went on to score 173/5 in their 20 overs, courtesy half-centuries from Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu.
KKR innings did not get the kind of start they are used to as Narine was removed for a duck in the first over. They lost wickets at regular intervals and run scoring was tough. Manish Pandey and Colin de Grandhomme kept them in the hunt for a while but the Kiwi departed in the 15th over. Pandey was still at the crease and was fully capable of bringing the side home.
The Turning Point
KKR were down to 128/6 after 14.1 overs when Grandhomme lost his wicket. Pandey was batting on 23 off 24 balls and was the last recognised batsman. He found an able support in Kuldeep Yadav and the duo started taking KKR closer to the target.
In the 17th over, he flicked Tim Southee for a stylish boundary and off the next ball, got a reprieve when he was dropped on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Suchith. He was batting on 30 at that moment and luck was certainly on his side. A total of 14 runs were collected from that over that brought the equation down to 25 off 18 balls.
Hardik Pandya ran in to bowl the 18th over and Pandey pulled the very first ball towards Suchith again, but this time he didn’t make any mistake. Pandey had to make the long walk back after scoring 33 off 33 balls and KKR’s hopes were shattered.
There was too much to get for the lower order batsmen after his dismissal and they failed to get the remaining runs.
How the game panned out
During MI’s innings, in the absence of Parthiv Patel, Lendl Simmons had a new opening partner in the form of Saurabh Tiwary. However, Simmons failed to contribute as he was removed by Boult for a duck. Rohit Sharma walked in at number three and added 57 runs for the second wicket alongside Tiwary.
The skipper was trapped in front by Ankit Rajpoot for 27 in the ninth over, which reduced MI to 69/2. Ambati Rayudu, who made a comeback to the playing XI after recovering from an injury which forced him to sit out a big part of the season looked in a good touch in his first game back.
He combined well with Tiwary and shared a stand of 61 runs. Tiwary made 52 off 43 balls, with 9 fours, before getting run out in the 16th over. Rayudu went on to make 63 off just 37 balls, which included 6 fours and 3 sixes.The innings ended at 173/5 in 20 – a competitive total on a difficult track to bat.
KKR, in reply, were knocked back early when Sunil Narine was dismissed by Tim Southee, who bowled a wicket-maiden first up. Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir then shared a stand of 41 runs for the second wicket before the skipper was sent back by Mitchell Johnson in the fifth over.
Robin Uthappa didn’t last long as well and made his way back to the pavilion after making just 2 runs. Lynn, who was striking the ball well until that point, lost his wicket to Vinay Kumar, who was playing his first game of the season. Yusuf Pathan struck three sixes in his stay of 7 balls but became the second victim of the Karnataka bowler.
Colin de Grandhomme played a quickfire innings of 29 off 16 balls which kept them in the hunt but he fell in the 15th over to Hardik Pandya. Manish Pandey was still at the crease and had Kuldeep Yadav for company. But Pandey’s dismissal turned the game in favour of MI, who ultimately prevailed by 9 runs.