Ishan Kishan raced to 50 off 17 balls to set up the slaughter of the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, as the Mumbai Indians leapfrogged their opponents into fourth spot on the log.
Halfway through the Mumbai innings, the KKR bowlers appeared to have the upper hand on their opponents… that is, until Kishan stepped down the wicket to Kuldeep Yadav, hoisting him high over mid-on for a massive six to get off the mark from the second ball he faced.
It was six No 569 of the series, as Kishan moved the struggling Mumbai tally to 71-2 off 9.5 overs. The fourth ball he faced was dramatically reverse-swept for four as he began a relentless onslaught against the KKR bowling, hammering them for 20 runs off the first eight balls he faced.
Mumbai had been battling to break loose against the KKR bowling, and their strike rate was hovering around the 120 mark when the left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman came to the crease and cut loose, racing to a breathtaking 62 off just 21 balls. His innings came at an eye-popping strike rate of 295, with five fours and six sixes. Kishan’s carnage came to an end when he was caught right on the boundary rope by Robin Uthappa off the bowling of Sunil Narine.
The rest of the Mumbai middle order proceeded to take the KKR bowlers to task, peppering the boundary with ease to post a formidable 210-6 off their 20 overs – the fifth-highest score of the series. Hardik Pandya scored a relatively sedate 19 off 13 balls, before Aussie Ben Cutting slammed 24 off 9, including three sixes, with a strike rate of 266.
In response, the punch-drunk KKR batsmen floundered to 108 all out, with Chris Lynn and Nitish Rana both scoring 21. Krunal Pandya throttled the Kolkata batsmen, claiming 2-12 at 3.78 an over, in addition to taking a catch and completing a run-out. Hardik Pandya also had a hand in a run-out, as well as taking 2-16 at 5.33 an over, as MI moved ahead of KKR on the log based on net run rate. The two teams are now left jostling for that elusive fourth spot and a place in the playoffs.
Photo by: Prashant Bhoot /SPORTZPICS for BCCI