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IPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, 60th Match – Who Said What?

IPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, 60th Match - Who Said What?

KKR vs MI. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

In cricket, batters and bowlers often take away the credit for obvious reasons and tonight could have been the same, but it’s not. Defending 158 runs, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) once again had a poor start with the ball and at one stage, it felt like the two-time champions may lose their final home game of the IPL 2024 season. However, Shreyas Iyer-led with his exceptional captaincy changed the course of the game as in the end, KKR picked up a comfortable 18-run win over Mumbai Indians (MI).

Batting first, the hosts suffered a double blow as Phil Salt and Sunil Narine departed early. However, Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana took control of the situation and stitched a 37-run partnership, which bailed KKR out of a tough spot. Iyer eventually made 42 runs off 21 balls while Rana made 33 runs off 23 deliveries as KKR went on to post 157 runs on the board. Notably, Ramadeep Singh played a good cameo in the end, which was extremely valuable.

When it came to the chase, MI were 65/0 at one stage. They seemed favourite until the spinners came into the attack. The duo of Narine and Varun Chakravarthy once again were extremely influential and in the end, played a massive part in KKR’s win. Russell too was incredible as he picked up two wickets and in the final over, Harshit Rana picked up two as KKR picked up an important win and became the first team to qualify for the playoffs of IPL 2024.

1. Venkatesh Iyer vs Mumbai Indians

KKR all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has a tremendous record against Mumbai Indians. Last year, he hit a century and this year too, Iyer played a key part in both matches. At Eden Gardens, when the cards were against KKR, he made a crucial 42 runs to change the tide. Ahead of the qualifiers, his form will boost the confidence of the team.

2. Spin duo webs magic

Year after year, it’s Varun and Narine turn out to be KKR’s messiah with the ball. In his four overs against Mumbai, Varun gave away just 17 runs and picked up two crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya while Sunil Narine picked up the wicket of Ishan Kishan, who looked dangerous in the powerplay. Narine gave away just 21 runs in his three overs and the duo once again secured a win in KKR’s favour.

3. Captain Fiyer – Shreyas Iyer

Even though he hasn’t contributed much with the bat, Shreyas Iyer has been top-notch as far as captaincy is concerned. He has arguably been the best captain of IPL 2024 as his tactics have been sensational. He is aware of when to bring the spin twins, Russell and use other bowlers, which was missing last season. He also dared to give the ball to Harshit Rana ahead of Mitchell Starc in the final over, which also shows that the cricketer is ready to back youngsters over proven stars.

Losing skipper Hardik Pandya said:

Tough one, yeah. As a batting unit, the foundation was there but we could not capitalize after that and keep the momentum up. The wicket was a little up and down and a little tacky so momentum was very important. I think it was a par score, given the conditions, felt that the bowlers did well. Every ball that came back from the boundary came back wet. The bowlers made sure they kept taking wickets. (On his thoughts for the next game) Nothing, just to go and enjoy as much as we can and play good cricket, that’s been my motto from the start. I don’t think we’ve played enough good cricket this season.

Winning skipper Shreyas Iyer said:

I think I manifested this before the game (on becoming the 1st side to qualifty for the playoffs). Nerves were there, boys have been raising their hands and there have been many game-changers and kudos to each and every one of them. I feel whichever team plays the best, they got a great chance to win. They were going at great guns in the first 6 overs, and to bounce back from that situation it was nice to see. I wasn’t thinking about stats or records, the weather wasn’t great but we won the game and that’s what is more important. It’s all about understanding which bowler is doing well on that particular day, I feel both of them bowled well and my gut went with Varun (on bowling the 4th over) at that point and I backed him.

POTM Varun Chakravarthy said:

The plan was to make him (Rohit) hit across the line, obviously there was help from the wicket and I was able to use it to my advantage. Tactically we (talking about Narine) are similar, but technically we are slightly different. The wickets were too flat initially, my bowling has been same from the first match and it is just that the results are showing up now.

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