IPL

Small role for Russell, Narine struggles with bat and ball as leaders KKR seal playoff place with win over Mumbai Indians

By Sports Desk May 11, 2024

Indian Premier League leaders Kolkata Knight Riders extended their winning streak to four matches and sealed their place in the playoffs by defeating Mumbai Indians in a match impacted by rain on Saturday.

A delayed start to the contest meant it was limited to 16 overs per side, and KKR made it to 157-7 with Venkatesh Iyer producing a quick-hitting 42 runs from 21 balls, as Jasprit Bumrah (2-39) and Piyush Chawla (2-28) both made an impact with the ball.

While Sunil Narine went without scoring, Andre Russell contributed a 14-ball 24 toward the backend of the KKR innings, including two fours and two sixes.

The Indians looked likely to chase down their victory target when they reached 65-0 in the early stages, as they looked to improve on a fine 7-3 record at KKR's Eden Gardens.

But the wicket of Ishan Kishan in the seventh over sparked a rapid collapse, with Mumbai – already eliminated from the competition – quickly falling to 92-5 and ultimately losing by 18 runs.

Russell returned to grab 2-34 from three overs, sharing the wickets with Harshit Rana (2-34), Varun Chakaravarthy (2-17) and Narine, who had 1-21 from his three overs.

KKR remain top of the standings. As well as being the first team to seal their progress, they look good to secure a crucial top-two finish which would give them two chances to reach the final. They now have 18 points, two clear of Rajasthan Royals, who play Chennai Super Kings in one of two games due to take place on Sunday.

Data Debrief: Bumrah eyeing Purple Cap

While this was the latest setback in a highly disappointing season for Mumbai, who are second-bottom of the standings, Bumrah has been a prolific threat.

He took another two key wickets in this one, removing KKR dangerman Sunil Narine for a golden duck and halting a charge from Rinku Singh (20 from 12) in the final over.

That took India bowler Bumrah's season tally to 20, putting him level with Punjab Kings' Harshal Patel at the top of the Purple Cap standings.

The final figures could have been even better for Bumrah, who was frustrated to be hit for six by Ramandeep Singh (17 from 8) in the final ball of the KKR innings and earlier had an lbw decision against Nitish Rana (33) overturned on review.

However, a difficult period of form continued for Bumrah's team-mate Rohit Sharma in his team's unsuccessful run chase.

The opener came into the match with scores of 6, 8, 4, 11 and 4 in his last five innings and he was not much better here, struggling to 19 from 24 before falling to the superb Varun Chakaravarthy, who posted economical figures of 2-17 from four overs. That was quite the contrast to partner Kishan, who smashed 40 from 22.

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