In a single over, Jasprit Bumrah sent both Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell back to the pavilion to put an end to the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) shot at the target of 196 set by the Mumbai Indians (MI).
The contest, which swung from end to end, had a lot of major stars disappoint in what was one of the most awaited amongst the first week of games in this IPL. The defeat by 49 runs meant that the Mumbai Indians won their first game in the UAE. It also meant that they extended their dominant record over KKR.
While Pat Cummins, KKR's most expensive signing in history, did not deliver with the ball - not even completing his quota for overs, going for 49 runs - he did save himself some blushes by scoring very quickly at the end of the game when the match was already out Kolkata Knight Riders' grasp.
The bowlers made the difference for teams, with KKR's pacers being very expensive - particularly during Rohit Sharma's stay at the crease. The Mumbai skipper mercilessly smashed them around, especially when the bowlers pitched the ball short.
On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians bowled effectively to restrict KKR to well within the target, ensuring they crossed 100 runs only around the 15th over of the game.
The Mumbai Indians had a good game, with most of the batting as well as bowling doing the job for them. Krunal Pandya was unlucky to hardly get an opportunity with both bat and ball, but otherwise, the players that did feature were quite impactful in the game.
The Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, have a lot to think about regarding their batting order, selection of players in the playing XI and their strategy with the ball in hand.
Here, we look at 3 players who were unable to match up to the expectations placed on them.
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#3 Quinton de Kock (MI)
Quinton de Kock was sent to open the innings by the Mumbai Indians, and to make the most out of the powerplay overs. In an attempt to clear the in-field off Shivam Mavi's bowling, the South African hit one up in the air. The catch was easily taken at short square leg by Nikhil Naik, with De Kock departing the field after making just one run from 3 balls.
The dismissal brought Suryakumar Yadav to the crease, who along with Rohit Sharma, had a steady partnership for the second wicket. It was the only breakthrough that KKR were able to make until Suryakumar Yadav's run out when the partnership was approaching the 100-run mark.
While the Mumbai Indians set themselves up well with a score touching 200, Quinton de Kock will regret his manner of dismissal as well as his inability to capitalise on the Knight Riders' bowling errors.
#2 Eoin Morgan (KKR)
Touted as a candidate for the captaincy this year after KKR's poor run in 2019, Eoin Morgan entered the team with a massive international reputation and a record to set right in Asia. Having never had a fruitful, memorable IPL to date, Morgan was sent in with the perfect opportunity to show his worth and make a mark on the tournament.
However, Morgan left the crease after a tame nick to the keeper off Bumrah's bowling for 16 off 20. In the context of the game, this was a painfully slow innings, and while it did feature a lovely six down the ground, Morgan struggled to get going. His innings meant there was too much for Andre Russell and even a belligerent Pat Cummins to do in the game.
#1 Andre Russell (KKR)
West Indian big-hitter Andre Russell entered the pitch with the scorecard reading 77 for 4. The KKR top four was back in the shed, with a paltry run rate of under 7 in a chase of nearly 200 and a mountain of runs to scale. Having saved the Knight Riders by the skin of their teeth many times last year, Russell looked up to the task.
However, it was not to be. Russell hit just two boundaries, one of them a thick edge that carried over the slip cordon, in an unconvincing 11-ball 11. Pitted against the best bowler from the opposition, Russell lost the battle to Bumrah, losing his leg-stump to a terrific full ball. His wicket severely dented the KKR chase, and the required run rate rose steeply, with Morgan unable to find the fence as he perished soon after.
With ball in hand, Russell was tonked for a massive six by Rohit Sharma as he bowled to the batsman's strength. He did redeem himself with a fine 19th over, giving away under a run-a-ball and also accounting for Hardik Pandya in unusual fashion.
All in all, IPL 2019's MVP will be hoping for a stronger show in KKR's next game.Published 24 Sep 2020, 01:09 IST