Hardik keeps Mumbai Indians' IPL hopes alive

Hardik keeps Mumbai Indians' IPL hopes alive

Mumbai Indians remained in the hunt for a play-off spot after registering a 13-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium.

Earlier in the day after being put into bat by Kolkata, Mumbai batted with great objective with openers Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis taking the team off to a flier. Except Ben Cutting, rest all other bowlers picked at least a wicket for Mumbai.

Having scored 103 runs in the first 11 overs, Mumbai added only 78 in the final nine overs for a disappointing finish. Once they broke this partnership, Mumbai kept taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict Kolkata to 168 for 6.

When KKR came in to the crease, they got off to a fairly sluggish start with openers Chris Lynn and and Shubman Gill, being dismissed for 17 and 7 respectively.

And, when Krunal took a good catch to get rid of the risky Russell to give Jasprit Bumrah his first scalp of the day, the visitors were left needing 43 off their final three overs. Following Uthappa's wicket, Hardik's bouncer sent Rana back to the pavilion. The legspinner put down the easiest of chances to throw Kolkata a lifeline.

The trend of dropped catches turning out to be costly for team in the IPL continued on Sunday with Mumbai's Mayank Markande giving Robin Uthappa a huge reprieve.

Bowling changes did not work for KKR as the West Indian welcomed Piyush Chawla with a six over mid-wicket before smashing two consecutive fours as Mumbai raced to 56/0 after the power-play period. He was dismissed in the next over as the two men he tormented got together. Soon after, Hardik delivered again with the ball as he cut short Rana's innings with a short ball.

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Under mounting pressure, Andre Russell was the first to blink.

As hard as Karthik tried, the task proved beyond him with only eight runs coming from the left-arm spinner.

Hardik Pandya impressed with the ball as well with his match figures of 4-0-19-2. They hit seven fours and three sixes in the first six overs. He ultimately perished trying to slog-sweep Sunil Narine for a fine 59 (39) which had set Mumbai up for a huge total. Dinesh Karthik too played a knock of 36* at the end of the innings but the required run rate had reached way too much as KKR fall short of the target.

From 28-2 in 3.1 overs, Uthappa and Rana dragged KKR to a respectable position of 112-2 in 12.2 overs.

For KKR to win this match, they needed a couple of batsmen to stand up to the occasion.

Skipper Rohit, who struggled to get going initially, has found some sort of form and now will have to lead from the front.

MI jumped to fifth in the points table with their second successive win and now have 8 points from 10 matches.

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