IPL 2014 Review: KKR Floors Defending Champion MI

So it was a complete sold out. First it was the promised grand opening by the Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan and then there were the Cricketing stars of the likes of Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Malinga, Pollard, Morne Morkel, Shakib and Corey Anderson to play the first match in the shadow of stalwarts Kallis and Michael Hussey. On one side was Shahrukh Khan’s KKR, the champions of 2012 but overall the team with the poorest record in IPL, and on other side was Mumbai Indians, the team of superstars under the biggest business flagship of Reliance. The history of extreme dominance made sure defending champions Mumbai Indians will emerge victorious. But, after 40 overs of game Kolkata Knight Riders registered an easy victory, their biggest but only the third victory over MI in 13 games.

Match Preview
IPL 2014: Fixture and Results

Did You See!!

    Two Great Lefties Struggle: Gambhir and Michael Hussey
    Corey Anderson gave 33 runs in 3 overs and then could not understand how to face Chawla and Narine.
    Malinga and Narine Fight Out to Prove they are the best.
    Uthappa the Nervous Wicketkeeper!! First he fumbled then in second attempt managed to stump Rayudu, and then hit the bails as Pollard stopped a ball prompting umpire review to check if he was bowled out.
    Kallis!! Kallis!! Kallis: The oldies was the best player of the day.

Match Summary
At a new location in an alien land (from Indian’s perspective) the two captains, Gambhir and Rohit Sharma were unsure about the pitch. They had their fanns based in UAE to support respective teams. Obviously both wanted to win, but were not sure what suits better – batting or bowling first. Gambhir had to take the call and he decided to bat.

KKRs Batsmen score 163/5
Disaster awaited them as KKRs superstar captain could not score a run on first 8 balls he faced, and had to return on a duck bamboozled by a yorker from Malinga, the biggest bowler of IPL in last 6 editions. Malinga went on to take 4/23. Even Zaheer Khan was successful with 1/23. But then those were the 5 wickets that KKR lost. More importantly, their 2nd wicket fell at the end of 17th over. By then Manish Pandey (53-ball 64 runs with 2 6s and 6 4s) coming at No. 3 has added 131 runs with stalwart Kallis (46-ball 72 runs with 3 6s and 5 4s).

Despite the big 2nd wicket partnership, KKR were just toiling around run rate of 8, which was not enough against the super packed MI batting unit. But their partnership appeared important when Uthappa (1), Yusuf Pathan (4 runs in 4 balls), Shakib (1) disappointed to give momentum to the solid formation. Suryakumar Yadav hit 13 runs in 5 balls in the last over to take them to 163/5, somewhat respectable total. Considering the stable partnership they should be bothered and take effective measures instantly to avoid repeat of last year.

MI bowling, except Malinga and Zaheer, was in shambles. Harbhajan (0/25 in 3 overs), Pragyan Ojha (0/36), Pollard (0/19 in 2 overs) and Anderson (0/33 in 3 overs) were taken to cleaners.

MI Strong Batting Manage only 122/7
Michael Hussey almost did a Gambhir as he could score only 3 runs of 13 balls before Narine sent him out of his misery. Tare had 24 runs with a six and 2 4s, but he took 22 balls. Rayudu was their highest scorer. But in high chase 40-ball 48 runs (4 4s) does not impress, specially when others fail. Captain Rohit scored 20-ball 27 runs (with one six) but he was struggling all the time. Pollard saw the match already beyond reach, so he used 8 balls to practice for rest of the tournament scoring unbeaten 6 runs, as on the other end Corey Anderson (8 balls 2 runs), Harbhajan (0) were bowled by Narine in same over and even Chawla got a wicket with wicketkeeper Gautam getting stumped.

Morne Morkel started building pressure and finished with 1/16. Narine took the game away with 4/20. Even Chawla had 1/15 in 3 overs. Only Vinay Kumar (0/15 in 2 overs), Kallis (0/23 in 3 overs) and Shakib (1/29 in 4 overs) were somewhat punished. MI batsmen simply appeared to be unprepared.

Player of the Match: Kallis
Kallis was the player of the match for his effort with bat, and also an exceptional catch of Rohit Sharma, just when MI appeared to pick steam for the only time in the match.

With the kind of fitness and form shown in the first match of IPL, he is set to be a big challenge for other teams.

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