Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) recorded their second consecutive win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after beating in-form Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by six wickets at the Wankhede stadium on 28 April.
The home side gave their fans something to cheer for as they snapped Kolkata's three-match winning streak this season. Following a Supreme Court ruling to shift the IPL matches out of the drought-hit Maharashtra, Mumbai produced a stellar performance in their last match at Wankhede this year.
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Having restricted the opposition to 174/5, the hosts - riding on the batting heroics of Rohit Sharma (68*) and Kieron Pollard (51*) - gunned down the total in a mere 18 overs and climbed to the third spot in the IPL standings.
Mumbai got off to a bad start, losing opener Parthiv Patel (1) in the second over of the innings. Umesh Yadav provided the early breakthrough to Kolkata, forcing an outside edge off Patel's bat that went straight into the hands of Yusuf Pathan in the slip cordon.
However, Rohit and Ambati Rayudu added 59 runs for the second wicket to steady the chase for Mumbai. Rayudu smashed a 20-ball 32, including five boundaries and a six, as the home team amassed 64 runs at the loss of one wicket in the powerplay overs.
Rayudu's blitzkrieg was cut short by Shakib Al Hasan who got the right-handed batsman caught at deep midwicket in the seventh over to dent Mumbai's run-chase. Soon, Krunal Pandya (6) was undone by his injudicious shot selection in a bid to smack Sunil Narine out of the park.
Skipper Rohit continued his barrage from one end and notched up his fourth half-century while chasing for Mumbai this season. Jos Buttler (15) kept rotating the strike - apart from the odd boundaries - for the hosts, but the explosive batsman failed to keep his wicket intact after getting caught by Chris Lynn at long-off.
With 69 runs required from 42 balls, the Mumbai batsmen needed a partnership which came from Rohit and Pollard. The duo added 72 runs off just 30 balls for the fifth wicket to ensure their side chased down the target with 12 balls to spare.
Pollard, who looked a bit rusty after coming back from an injury, rose to the occasion to provide adequate support to his captain. The big West Indian smacked two classy fours and six towering sixes to notch up his fifty in just 17 balls - the joint-fastest with Delhi's Chris Morris this season.
The visitors failed miserably against the batting might of Pollard and Rohit. Narine (2-22) - who bowled 11 dot balls and conceded just three fours - was the pick of the bowlers for Kolkata, while Jaydev Unadkat (0-49) and Rajagopal Sathish (0-30) conceded more than 15 runs an over.
Earlier, Mumbai won the toss and invited Kolkata to bat first. The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise got off to a solid start following a 69-run opening stand between Gautam Gambhir (59) and Robin Uthappa (36). The opening batsmen helped Kolkata amass 59 runs at a run-rate of 9.83 in the powerplay overs.
After surviving a run-out chance on the first delivery of the eighth over, Uthappa's luck finally ran out after he was caught at long-on by Pollard on the fourth ball of the same over. Shakib (6), who was promoted up the order, became the second casualty after losing his wicket to Hardik Pandya (1-15) in the very next over.
Suryakumar Yadav (21) partnered his skipper Gambhir in a vital 44-run stand for the third wicket to get the innings back on track. Kolkata were looking to accelerate their innings when Mitchell McClenaghan (1-33) dismissed Gambhir in the 14th over.
Tim Southee (2-38) struck in the 16th over to get rid of Suryakumar who miscued the ball back into the hands of the bowler. Andre Russell, who scored 22 runs off 16 balls, and Yusuf Pathan (8-ball 19) helped Kolkata accumulate 44 runs in the final four overs.
Kolkata suffered only their second loss this season as they remain at the second spot with eight points after four wins in six matches. On the other hand, Mumbai seem to have found the right team combination, registering their fourth win in eight games.