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IPL 2021, KKR vs MI: Iyer, Tripathi help Kolkata Knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians

The Times of India logo The Times of India 24-09-2021 Gaurav Gupta
© Provided by The Times of India

Playing some fearless brand of cricket, the Kolkata Knight Riders - having lost 12 of their last 13 games against the Mumbai Indians before this match - finally broke the jinx against their nemesis on Thursday night at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

After coming back superbly with the ball to restrict MI to a below-par 155 for six, KKR made a mockery of the chase, as Rahul Tripathi (74 not out, 42b, 3x6, 8x4) and their new star Venkatesh Iyer (53, 30b, 3x6, 4x4) powered them to a convincing seven-wicket win with their aggressive half-centuries, with 29 balls remaining.

AS IT HAPPENED | POINTS TABLE | SCORECARD

Punishing MI's star-studded bowling in a manner not often seen in recent past, Tripathi and Iyer added 88 in just 52 balls for the second wicket to seal the fate of the game and ensure KKR's second win on the trot. Lagging behind after the first half of IPL-2021, the Knight Riders, who have scored four wins in five games, have climbed to the fourth spot on the table, and in this red-hot form, look good enough to make it to the playoffs.

MI, who suffered their fifth defeat, have now slipped to sixth in the tally. Unless they pull up their socks, the defending champs are in real danger of being knocked out of the competition.

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Both Tripathi and Iyer came out all guns blazing, smashing the MI's mediocre bowlers to all corners of the park. Iyer's decision to quit a bright career in the finance industry seems to have boosted KKR's 'balance sheet' big time in IPL-2021.

Following up on his 41* in the opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Indore left-hander smashed his maiden IPL fifty. The 26-year-old pulled the first ball he faced from Trent Boult for a six to deep square leg, and kept smashing the leather thereafter.

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Jasprit Bumrah took all the three wickets to fall, but was hammered for 43 runs in his four overs.

Earlier, fighting back superbly after MI threatened to run away with the game through a flying start off the bats of Quinton de Kock (55, 42b, 3x6, 4x4) and skipper Rohit Sharma (33, 30b, 4x4), KKR restricted MI to 155 for six.

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Riding on familiar fireworks from de Kock and Rohit, who returned to IPL action after resting from the CSK match, MI raced away to 78 in 56 balls, before their middle-order disappointed yet again this season, as KKR came roaring back into the match.

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The slide started when the well-set Rohit, who became the first-ever batsman to score 1,000 runs against a team in the IPL when he reached18, mistimed a heave off Sunil Narine to Shubhman Gill at long on. It was the ninth time that Narine dismissed the 34-year-old in the IPL.

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Enduring an indifferent IPL, MI's rising stars Suryakumar Yadav (5), Ishan Kishan (14) and Krunal Pandya (12) all failed to capitalize on their team's sound opening stand. It was only a cameo from Kieron Pollard (21, 15, 2x4, 1x6) which gave the innings their signature late innings momentum.

Clearly are missing the explosive blade of Hardik Pandya, who didn't even turn up in the dugout for the second consecutive game. KKR deserve praise for their comeback with the ball, though.

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