Despite a power outage, the hosts emerge easy winners by 65 runs over the defending champions.
IPL: Mumbai Indians dim the lights on Kolkata Knight Riders
Toss Mumbai, chose to bat
Mumbai Tendulkar 48, Smith 47; McLaren 2-60, Bhatia 1-22
Kolkata Kallis 24; Harbhajan 3-27, Johnson 2-13, Ojha 2-23
Man of the match Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai)
Poor decision making on the field and extremely poor application on the part of their batsmen sent Kolkata Knight Riders one step closer to elimination, and Mumbai Indians one stride closer to the playoffs, after their match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last night.
Mumbai beat Kolkata by 65 runs, their sixth win out of six at the venue, to move to second spot on the points table, ahead of Rajasthan Royals on Net Run Rate, while Kolkata remained stuck in seventh spot.
Gautam Gambhir put his faith in Ryan McLaren to bowl the final over of the Mumbai innings, even after he had conceded 36 in his first three. L Balaji, who had gone for seven from three overs, was available and ignored. McLaren's over went for 25 and Mumbai's total from 145 for 6 to 170 for 6. In a Twenty20 game, it was a huge momentum shift.
The early part of the Mumbai innings was built around Sachin Tendulkar's 28-ball 48 at the top – 20 of those runs coming in a five-boundary burst in McLaren's second over – and Dwayne Smith's stuttering 53-ball 47. Balaji, and later Iqbal Abdulla, not only bottled Smith up, they managed to keep Tendulkar away from the strike when he looked in good touch.
The 93-run partnership lasted till the 13th over – a power outage added drama to the proceedings – after which Rajat Bhatia got Tendulkar and Abdulla got Smith in quick succession.
The innings was thrown further off gear when McLaren, in his third over, sent back Rohit Sharma, smartly caught by Eoin Morgan on the square-leg boundary, and Kieron Pollard, caught at short third man. Ambati Rayudu was run out in the same over after a brilliant outfield effort from Balaji and the next over saw Harbhajan Singh run out as well.
But with McLaren bowling the last over, Dinesh Karthik, who had hit 24 from 15 balls till then, capitalized, in collaboration with Mitchell Johnson.
The momentum gained and lost from that over appeared to spill into the second half of the match. Not often has the Kolkata batting come good in the tournament, and it was no different on Tuesday either. Gambhir played on to Johnson in the first over, Manvinder Bisla went not much later, and by the tenth over, four Kolkata batsmen, including Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis, were back in the dugout.
The asking rate, by this time, had gone well beyond reasonable limits and by the end of 15 overs, Morgan, Debabrata Das and McLaren had also been dismissed to leave Kolkata at 92 for 7. Lasith Malinga hit Balaji's middle stump soon after, leaving Kolkata's defence of the title also in freefall.
Shamya Dasgupta is senior editor at Wisden India.
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