ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer smashed half centuries against a star-studded Mumbai Indians bowling attack and carried Kolkata Knight Riders to a convincing seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Tripathi defined the run-chase with an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Iyer — playing in only his second IPL game — made 53 off 30 balls as Kolkata raced to 159-3 in 15.1 overs.
Defending champions Mumbai had earlier wasted a brilliant start of 78 provided by Quniton de Kock (55) and captain Rohit Sharma (33) to reach 155-6 after Kolkata skipper Eoin Morgan had won the toss and opted to field.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played like this,” Morgan said. “To hold such a strong Mumbai team, and chase it down in the manner we did gives us confidence.”
Iyer dominated the world’s top-ranked pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah (3-43) and Trent Boult, who was removed from the attack after conceding 23 off his first two overs as Kolkata raced to 40-1 in just three overs into its run-chase.
Bumrah claimed two late wickets when he had Iyer clean bowled in his return spell off a slower delivery but by then the left-hander had done enough damage, hitting four boundaries and three sixes.
Morgan holed out in the deep off Bumrah’s short pitched delivery, but Tripathi ensured the emphatic win by dominating the bowlers during which he hit eight boundaries and three sixes.
Earlier, Kolkata made good a recovery in the latter half after Rohit and and de Kock had provided a solid start off 55 balls. Rohit holed out at long-on off Sunil Narine midway into the innings and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna had in-form Suryakumar Yadav (5) caught behind.
De Kock also fell to Krishna in the 15th over before Lockie Ferguson thwarted Mumbai’s progress by claiming the key wickets of Ishan Kishan (14) and Krunal Pandya (12).
Kolkata’s brisk chase saw them move to No. 4 in the standings with eight points. Mumbai also has same points but slipped to No. 6 because of an inferior net run-rate to Kolkata and Rajasthan Royals, which is at No. 5
“We started really well but didn’t get enough in the back end,” Rohit said. “We didn’t bowl pretty well to start with, we spoke about being on the stumps and let the batters take chances, however, that didn’t happen.”
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