As expected, Kolkata Knight Rider opened their Indian Premier League 2015 campaign with a convincing win over 2014 semifinalists Mumbai Indians, their third consecutive winning start to the IPL campaign. Rohit and Anderson were impressive, but Gambhir, Manish Pandey and Surya Yadav ensured a smooth ride for KKR while chasing 169 runs as they won by 7 wickets with 9 balls remaining. IPL 2015 set a new trend by adjudging a bowler as Man of the Match although 3 batsmen scored half-centuries.
- MOM: Morne Morkel (1/18 in 4 overs with the only maiden of the match)
Maximum 6s: Surya Kumar Yadav (5 6s)
Most Entertaining: Surya Kumar Yadav
First Maiden of IPL8: Morne Morkel
First Boundary of IPL8: Aaron Finch
First Catch of IPL 8: Umesh Yadav
First Wicket of IPL 8: Morne Morkel
MI Score 168/3
Being sent to bat first against a strong KKR bowling attack, Mumbai Indians were in trouble losing Finch (5), wicketkeeper Aditya Tare (7) and Rayudu (0) by 6th over. As Morkel grabbed Finch and Rayudu and Shakib sent back Tare, MI were 37/3 in 5.2 overs. From there on Rohit and Anderson consolidated the innings as one more wicket could have got them in big trouble having selected 5 bowlers in the team.
They could take MI only to 54/3 in 10 overs. But in the next 10 they added 114 runs without losing any wicket. Rohit scored unbeaten 65-ball 98 runs with 4 6s and 12 4s. Corey Anderson scored unbeaten 41-ball 55 runs with 3 6s and 4 4s. Both added unbeaten 131 runs for the 4th wicket as MI reached 168/3.
For KKR, except Morne Morkel (2/18 with a maiden), all were expensive. Indian hero of World Cup, Umesh Yadav had 0/36 in 3 overs, Bangladeshi star Shakib had 1/48. Narine gave away 0/28. Andre Russell (0/21 in 3 overs) and Piyush Chawla (0/16 in 2) were also unimpressive as Rohit and Anderson neutralised the bowlers.
KKR Chase 169 With Ease
KKR had a shaky start too as Uthapppa was gone in 3rd over to Anderson after scoring 9 runs in 12 balls. But Captain Gambhir (43-ball 57 with a six and 7 4s) and Manish Pandey (24-ball 40 runs with 3 6s and 2 4s) aadded 85 runs in only 9.1 overs. Pandey became a victim of Harbhajan in 12th over while Gambhir threw his wicket in 15th over on the bowling of Bumrah. The score read 121/3 in 14.2 overs then.
Surya Yadav took over the charge and played a memorable attacking knock to complete the formality. His knock of 20-ball unbeaten 46 runs with 5 6s and a four showed the confidence KKR is carrying. Yusuf Pathan (12-ball 14 runs with a six and a four) remained unbeaten and both added 49 runs in 4.1 overs as KKR won by 7 wickets with 9 balls remaining.
For MI, bowling was disappointing. Malinga appeared jaded and failed to take wicket still he was economical with 0/27 in 4. Vinay Kumar (0/21 in 3.3 overs) was the best. Anderson (1/21 in 2), Bumrah (1/38 in 3), Harbhajan (1/38 in 4) and Pragyan Ojha (0/23 in 2) appeared to lack match practice. They will certainly gain momentum but today they posed no challenge to KKR batsmen.
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