MI v KKR, IPL 2017: Karn Sharma spins Mumbai Indians into final

BENGALURU: A 107 runs were not much to defend or chase, but the Bengaluru wicket may have offered a glimmer of hope for Kolkata Knight Riders. But Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma (26; 24b, 1×4, 1×6) and Krunal Pandya (4*; 30b, 8×4), with a 40-ball 54-run partnership, ensured the chase was completed without much fuss.

In a largely lop-sided encounter, the mighty men from Mumbai romped home to a six-wicket win over Gautam Gambhir and his men to set up a Sunday night title date with Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad.

Having messed up their first chance of entering the final with a loss at home to Pune in Qualifier 1, the Mumbai men got everything right on the night, the toss included, as they chased down the below-par total in 14.3 overs.

Although Mumbai were in control of the proceedings for the better part of the match, they did wobble a little and were 36-3 in six overs. But once Rohit and Krunal settled down, the match was well out of Kolkata’s reach. Fittingly Krunal scored the winnings runs -a boundary off Umesh Yadav.

It was 12 nights ago that the M Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed a carnage of Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack by Kolkata’s opening duo of Narine and Lynn. The 37-ball-105 on that muggy night was still fresh in memory when the duo came out to bat. But Kolkata did not feast on runs. Instead they allowed the Mumbai bowlers to run riot on a pitch which offered no easy runs.

Put in to bat, Kolkata’s Knights were completely overshadowed by the meticulous Mumbai bowlers, who breezed through the batting line-up as Kolkata were bowled out for 107 in 18.5 overs. Coming out to bat less than 48 hours after their seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the rain-truncated contest at the same venue, Kolkata batsmen looked jaded against a well-rested and charged up Mumbai attack.
If leggie Karn Sharma (4-16) sent the batsmen on a leather hunt with his googlies and legspin, right-arm medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah (3-7) kept the batters guessing with his variation of good length balls and peppered it with yorkers and short balls. He even ensured the last over of powerplay was a maiden over with Robin Uthappa’s wicket as the incentive.
If Kolkata were hoping to get off to a flying start, their plans were doused in the second over when got out. With the loss, Kolkata failed to break the Mumbai jinx, having lost to them in all games since 2015.
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