MUMBAI – Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith led the way as the Mumbai Indians continued their winning run at home as they routed Kolkata Knight Riders by 65 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai today.
Batting first, Mumbai Indians posted a competitive 170 before their bowlers, led by spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha spun their strands around the Knight Riders’ batsmen to dismiss them for 105.
Chasing 171, Knight Riders lost Gautam Gambhir (0) early when the southpaw dragged one back onto his stumps. Jacques Kallis hit a boundary and a six off Abu Nechim to get KKR rolling. Manvinder Bisla got a reprieve when Harbhajan Singh put him down on 0. The KKR opener could not make much of that opportunity as he was beaten comprehensively by Pragyan Ojha and was stumped by Dinesh Karthik.
Yusuf Pathan walked in to bat at No.5 and got into the act immediately launching Ojha into the crowd. Ojha however dismissed Pathan (13) the next over striking timber. Harbhajan then had Kallis (24) caught in the deep. At the halfway stage, KKR were 62 for four, needing a further 109.
Debabrata Das hit a six off Harbhajan, but wickets continued to fall at the other end as Eoin Morgan (5) was caught off Nechim. Das (23) continued his assault on Harbhajan with a six and a boundary before the spinner foxed him in the air and pouched him caught and bowled.
Ryan McLaren (1) was then run out leaving KKR in dire straits. Harbhajan dismissed Rajat Bhatia (4) to claim his third wicket. Johnson sent back Narine (3) before Malinga bowled Lakshmipathy Balaji to bundle out the visitors in 18.2 overs.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat. Balaji started proceedings with a maiden over. Smith went after McLaren hitting him for consecutive boundaries in the second over before his opening partner Tendulkar got stuck into the same bowler in the fourth over and dispatched him for five successive boundaries. They made 41 from their Power Play with both openers still at the crease. Smith welcomed Iqbal Abdulla with consecutive boundaries.
Bhatia bowled Tendulkar (48) who walked across the off-side trying to paddle to the leg, only to miss the ball and have his stumps rearranged. Abdulla had Smith (47) caught in the deep by McLaren in the next over. Rohit Sharma hit Bhatia for a boundary before following it with a six. Dinesh Karthik then launched Narine for a maximum in the seventeenth.
McLaren struck twice in the 18th over; first dismissing Sharma (16) caught brilliantly by Eoin Morgan on the fence and then had Pollard caught by Narine at short fine leg. Ambati Raydu was run out in the same over without facing a ball. Karthik hit Narine for two boundaries before Harbhajan was run out in the 19th over. Mumbai Indians took 24 runs from the final over to reach 170 for six.
The loss meant that Knight Riders, the defending IPL champions, have no chance now of making the play-offs.†