Here’s a fun fact for you – in IPL 2020, Pat Cummins has scored more runs and hit more sixes than Andre Russell. And Russell has picked more wickets than Cummins so far. Against Mumbai Indians on Friday (October 16), the trend continued as Kolkata Knight Riders suffered another humiliating defeat – by eight wickets – in Abu Dhabi. KKR scored 148 with Cummins making a 36-ball 53 before MI chased down the score in the 17th over with Quinton de Kock unbeaten on 78.
Once MI were asked to chase, the bowlers were exceptional and struck early to dent KKR. After Rahul Tripathi fell early, Shubman Gill once again struggled to find any sort of rhythm. His 21 off 23 meant KKR failed to get out of the blocks quickly and MI kept tightening the noose. Nitish Rana’s struggles against short ball continued and Dinesh Karthik, who had handed over the captaincy to Eoin Morgan early in the day, made a painstaking 4 off 8. Jasprit Bumrah once against outsmarted Russell with a short ball to leave KKR gasping at 61 for 5 in the 11th over.
Because of Pat Cummins and Morgan. They showed much more intent than the top six, scored freely and ensured KKR avoided the risk of being bundled out of much less. Cummins struck Nathan Coulter-Nile for a six and two boundaries to get going and give some much-needed impetus to the innings. While things did dull down a bit till the 18th over, he took on Trent Boult to help the side finish big.
KKR scored 21 in the final over bowled by Coulter-Nile. Morgan hit two sixes to end with 39 off 29. Till then, his job was to hold his end up. He did struggle a touch but ensured he hung around to give the bowlers something to work with.
Quinton de Kock, probably frustrated after dropping a simple catch of Cummins, blasted MI to a brisk start as they raced to 51 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. This was the first time MI had escaped unhurt in the first six overs. Rohit Sharma made 35 off 36 and stitched a 94-run stand with de Kock before falling to Shivam Mavi. But de Kock’s assault had already reduced the contest to a run-a-ball affair.
Varun Chakravarthy managed to nip out Suryakumar Yadav before Hardik Pandya treated all watching with some crisply timed hits to dent KKR’s morale.
Eoin Morgan | KKR captain: We weren’t in the race at all really, being four or five down. Managed to get a score on the board but when Mumbai play like that, they are hard to stop. Guys fought hard but just not enough runs on the board. No.4, 5 and 6 we have lot of experience. We’re trying to adapt according to the situations. Don’t think it would have made much difference today.
Rohit Sharma – It’s special to chase and win, gives us plenty of confidence. We didn’t chase a lot in the first half (of the tournament), think we were clinical with both bat and ball, the expected performance was there. I thought we turned up very well, right from the start. I believe a lot in match-ups, we have got success as a team (doing it) – understanding the match-ups is important but we need to be instinctive at times. Krunal and Rahul also bowled to Russell, I took a chance with the ball gripping and turning, but I knew Bumrah was the go to guy against him. I prefer batting with him (de Kock), he’s very straightforward, likes to take on the bowler from the word go – but I usually like to assess the situation. Will let him play the way he wants to, don’t want to put any pressure on him. This tournament is very funny, can’t take the foot off the pedal at any time, we have seen teams lose at times. The guys are very hungry, they haven’t played a lot over the last six months – be it Ishan or Hardik, they want to play and they want to win
Quinton de Cock is the man of the match.