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IPL 2014 – KKR vs MI: Uthappa-led KKR Sink MI

By on May 15, 2014

Kolkata Knight Riders 142 for 4 (Uthappa 80) beat Mumbai Indians 141 for 5 (Rohit 51, Morkel 2-35, Narine 1-18) by six wickets…

In the previous four KKR matches, Robin Uthappa has been opening for the 2012 IPL champions and he justified his promotion with scores of 47, 65, 47 and 46 with KKR also winning two of those matches.

On Wednesday night, the 28-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman continued his rich vein of form hammering a 80 off 52 balls, leading KKR to their third win on the trot in the chase of 141 against Mumbai Indians on a tricky Cuttack track.

IPL 2014 - KKR vs MI: Uthappa-led KKR Sink MIThe win took KKR to 10 points, reaffirming their number four spot in the points table, while for the defending champions MI, a seventh defeat in 10 matches, well and truly ended their play-off hopes.

MI were 10-15 runs short of what they should have got but the way Uthappa went about in the KKR chase, it hardly mattered. On a two-paced pitch where shot-making was difficult, the Karnataka batsman displayed genuine batting skills to stand out.

Earlier, MI captain Rohit Sharma’s gritty 44-ball 51 had helped his team post a modest total. But, the opening duo of Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir combined for a 50-run stand that came, setting the foundation for the win.

MI missed a trick by not playing an extra spinner, something KKR did and excelled, and the ineffectiveness of Pragyan Ojha (0/25) meant it was a cakewalk for KKR.

Uthappa started aggressively sweetly timing Lasith Malinga’s yorker towards midwicket boundary in the first over and hitting young Jasprit Bumrah for back-to-back fours in the fourth over. Gambhir struggled at the other end, but was able to rotate the strike and a six off Ojha by Uthappa in the fifth over hinted at any early end to the match.

MI’s only chance to win the tie was to get early wickets, but their first breakthrough came in the 8th over, given by Harbhajan Singh when Gambhir chopped one on to his stumps. The next batsman, Manish Pandey, then consolidated KKR’s position, combining for a 46-run stand for the second wicket with Uthappa.

MI pulled back a bit in the middle with Harbhajan (2/22) again bowling a probing spell and with the wicket of Pandey (14). But Uthappa, with two consecutive sixes off Lendl Simmons in the 16th over handed back KKR the advantage. The Karnataka batsman eventually fell in the same over but by that time his team needed just 26 off 24 balls. Yusuf Pathan (20*) and Shakib AL Hasan (9) then knocked off the remaining runs with eight balls remaining.

Earlier, after being put into bat on a slow track, MI struggled at the start crawling to 70 for 3 in 13 overs, before Rohit and Corey Anderson (18) upped the ante with a 45-run stand for the fourth wicket leading MI to 141 for 5.

Sunil Narine’s last two overs, the 18th and 20th of MI innings yielded just nine runs and that proved to be decisive in the context of the game. As MI finished 10 to 15 runs short of what they woulf have liked.

Rohit, who had come to the crease as early as in the 6th over, took his time settling in, but after getting a reprieve in the 13th over when he was on 11 off 24 balls, he changed gears. Yusuf Pathan, playing his 100th IPL game, had dropped Rohit at wide long-on off Piyush Chawla earlier in the game. Anderson and Rohit hit a few lusty blows to get MI on track, but Morne Morkel picked up the New Zealander for 18.

Rohit then clubbed Chawla for a four and hit Morkel for two sixes in the 16th over. He reached his fifty cracking a low full toss of Umesh Yadav in the 19th over towards point boundary, but got out in the last over, trying a scoop off Narine.

KKR had brought in Shakib Al Hasan in place of Jacques Kallis looking at the nature of the track, and the Bangladesh allrounder did not disappoint returning with commendable figures of 4-0-21-1. After losing their openers early, MI run-rate was kept in check in the middle overs by Shakib and Piyush Chawla (1/32) as MI managed just 30 runs between overs 5-10.

MI had lost their opener Chidambaram Gautam early once again for eight runs in the third over to Morkel while last-match half centurion Lendl Simmons was undone by the lack of bounce from the pitch. After struggling his way to 12 runs off 14 balls, the West Indian charged down the track to Shakib only to see the ball keep hopelessly low and crash on to the stumps.

Rayudu, coming in at number three, continued his good form with the bat scoring a 27-ball 33, but his enterprising innings was cut short by Chawla. Rayudu failed to clear a tossed up delivery over long-on getting caught by Suryakumar Yadav, before Rohit ensured that MI put up a decent total on the board.

Source: gocricket

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