KKR beat MI in rain-hit game, become first team to qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs | Crickit
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KKR beat MI in rain-hit game, become first team to qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs

ByDhiman Sarkar, Kolkata
May 12, 2024 12:55 AM IST

The 18-run win in the match reduced to 16 overs each took the two-time champions to 18 points

For Mumbai Indians (MI) it’s been a summer of discontent. For the most part of IPL 17 they have looked like an ageing, washed up star shoe-horned into a college romance. There were flashes of what the five-time IPL champions are capable of but it wasn’t enough and the 18-run defeat in a rain-shortened 16-overs-a-side game on Saturday took Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to the playoffs for the first time since 2021. It was also the first time since 2014 that KKR had done the double against their bogey team.

Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma during an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians(PTI)
Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma during an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians(PTI)

Set a target of 158, MI finished on 139/8. They were motoring along till a spin punch knocked out the openers. From 65/0, with Ishan Kishan swinging his arms and racing to 40, they were 67/2. Narine removed Kishan, who holed out in the deep, and then Sharma top-edged Varun Chakravarthy.

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IPL 2024, KKR vs MI: As it happened...

On a pitch which assisted fast bowlers at the start, delayed by 105 minutes because of rain, and then got sticky aiding the slower deliveries, KKR derailed the chase when Surya Kumar Yadav dragged one from Andre Russell but couldn’t beat Ramandeep Singh. Barring Tilak Varma (32; 17b, 4x5, 6x1) and Naman Dhir (17; 6b; 1x4, 2x6), the rest seemed to be in a hurry to finish the game before midnight and nearly succeeded. KKR’s spinners got MI in a tangle before Russell and Harshit Rana foxed them with slower deliveries, the late pyrotechnics of Varma and Dhir notwithstanding.

With April being a cruel month for bowlers, KKR assistant coach Ryan Ten Doeschate had spoken about anti-bowling skills. That was after KKR had failed to defend 261. Since then, KKR altered lengths and had restricted MI, Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals.

A rain-delayed start meant the wicket was under covers for over two days as Kolkata welcomed a wet week after a prolonged heat wave. KKR opened with a six but this wasn’t about salt and spice and all things nice. Phil Salt went in the first over and Sunil Narine off the first ball of the second shouldering arms to Jasprit Bumrah. Piyush Chawla too got a wicket off his first ball when Venkatesh Iyer, who top-scored with a 21-ball 42 that had six fours and two sixes, holed out. In between, Shreyas Iyer had his furniture disturbed after exposing his leg stump to Anshul Kamboj.

The ball was moving in the air and off the wicket, batters kept being squared up and edges flew over slip. Like they had at Wankhede, MI had eaten into KKR’s top order. But useful knocks from Russell (24 off 14), Rinku Singh (20 off 12) and 33 from Nitish Rana, making a comeback from injury after 10 games, helped KKR score 157/7. The innings ended with Ramandeep Singh slogging Bumrah over long-on for six. It was a measure of the kind of confidence coursing through KKR this term.

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