Chasing 142 on a wicket which behaved slow throughout was never going to be an easy task against Lasith Malinga & Co., but Kolkata Knight Riders openers particularly Robin Uthappa put up a brave show and helped his team to beat Mumbai Indians by sixwickets.
KKR openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa for the fourth consecutive time put on a partnership of 50 or more runs including two century standsand directed their side to third win on trot. KKR chase began on a dominating note as Uthappa hit Malinga for a four on second ball he faced and along with Gambhir played fearlessly to score at a rate of 7.50 run per over in the power play. Gambhir though did not look as comfortable as his partner.
One over after power play Gambhir (14) perished as he looking to cut the ball chopped onto the stumps and gave MI their first breakthrough of the night at the score of 50. Manish Pandey walked out to bat and looked in a defending mood, but Uthappa at the other end took attack to MI bowlers as he reached his 11th IPL fifty. Uthappa was not afraid to smash spinners on a slower wicket and was lucky to spot balls keeping low.
The two seemed to be in no hurry and kept rotating strike in-between. Harbhajan came back to bowl his last over and scalped Pandey’s wicket. Pandey scored unhurried 14 off 21 balls with no boundary to his name.
At Pandey’s departure KKR needed 45 runs from 35 balls and Yusuf Pathan was sent in to bat. In next over Uthappa after Hitting Lendl Simmons for two consecutive 6searly in the over was clean bowled off Simmons’ incoming delivery. Uthappa ended his superb innings for 80 runs off 52 balls and during his stay hit nine 4s and three 6s. Uthappa now at third on the most-runs list this seasonis the only Indian batsmen to feature in top 5 in the aforementioned list.
Shakib Al Hassan and Yusuf Pathan then took on Malinga to see KKR inch closer to the victory. Shakib (9) trying to finish things off was caught at mid-on off Malinga. Yusuf then hit Malinga for a four and thus sealing the deal for KKR by six wickets.
Harbhajan Singh bagged two wickets for 22 runs in his four overs. Lasith Malinga who will now join his national team for the tour of England finished with figures of 1-30 in 3.4overs. Lendl Simmons (1-34) was the other bowler to feature in a wickets column.
Earlier on a sluggish pitch Mumbai Indians courtesy Rohit Sharma’s fifty posted a tricky total on board. Openers failed to provide good start and Ambati Rayudu who looked in fine touchwas out just when MI wanted him to carry on. With some good death bowling by Sunil Narine MI never got going despite a 25-ball 45 run between Rohit Sharma and Corey Anderson.
Man of the Match: Robin Uthappa
Brief Scores: KKR142-4(R. Uthappa 80, H. Singh 2-22) beatMI 141-5(R. Sharma 51, M. Morkel2-35) by six wickets.