Kolkata v Mumbai, Eliminator, IPL 2011, Mumbai May 25, 2011

Mumbai prevail on night of nerves


Mumbai Indians 148 for 6 (Blizzard 51, Tendulkar 36, Kallis 2-18, Shakib 2-24) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 147 for 7 (ten Doeschate 70*, Munaf 3-27) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kolkata Knight Riders began nervously, Mumbai Indians finished similarly, but it was Mumbai who booked a place in the Champions League T20 and in the semi-final equivalent of IPL 2009. What will irk Kolkata is that they were the better side for 39 overs in the previous match between these sides, but one bad over then set up this rematch in the quarter-final equivalent. Mumbai then did enough to make use on the second chance.

Kolkata's top order came out trying too hard for a big start, losing four wickets for 20, and Ryan ten Doeschate's 70 was not recovery enough on a good Wankhede track with short boundaries. A blazing start from Aiden Blizzard and Sachin Tendulkar seemed to have put to rest Mumbai's habit of muddled chases, but they choked again. For the second consecutive game, though, James Franklin scuppered Kolkata's hopes. This time, with much more on the line, he produced a less dramatic, but more assured 29.

Munaf Patel bowled smartly to capitalise on Kolkata's palpable nervous energy, taking three wickets, including those of Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan. It was a subtle change-up immediately after being driven for four that sent Kallis back. The wicket-taking delivery was pitched in the same area, but was bowled with a scrambled seam and was hence a touch slower. The slice settled with a diving Tendulkar.

Gautam Gambhir, Shreevats Goswami and Manoj Tiwary concentrated just on the boundaries, in the process failing to place the good balls for singles. The dot balls mounted, and all three fell to shots they would normally not play. ten Deoschate played sensibly, though, looking for singles and punishing the bad balls. That calm rubbed off on Yusuf, their 60-run stand took the run-rate past six an over, and a big finish could not have been ruled out.

Munaf, though, returned to interrupt the comeback with more clever bowling. Convinced that the short ball would trouble Yusuf, he let his Baroda team-mate have some. The first one took a top edge for four, the second went for a single along the ground, and the third one was mistimed over midwicket. Munaf persisted, and with his fourth bouncer of the over, he sent his man back.

Ambati Rayudu, a part-time wicketkeeper, proceeded to miss ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan in the next two overs. ten Doeschate went on to score the highest for a No. 6 this IPL and Kolkata got 60 in the last six, yet a blazing start to the chase was always going to knock them out. Blizzard and Tendulkar provided just that.

Blizzard relished the pace of Brett Lee, while Tendulkar took care of the spin of Iqbal Abdulla and Yusuf Pathan. A lot of class and a lot of power merged effectively to bring up the fifty in the fifth over. There was a remote semblance of redemption for Lee when he came back to remove Blizzard, but not before the batsman had hit him for four and six in that over.

Then Mumbai stumbled. Rohit Sharma ran himself out, Tendulkar fell to a sharp bouncer, and Rayudu seemed to have been sawn off. From 81 for 0 in the eighth over, Mumbai had been reduced to 103 for 4 in the 13th. A mini-partnership ensued, but Shakib trapped Pollard to make it 123 for 5. T Suman couldn't handle the nerves and holed out to long-off.

The asking-rate crept past run-a-ball for the last two overs, but a top edge off Lee's first ball brought it back to 11 off 11. L Balaji, who failed to defend 21 in the last match, didn't get a shot at redemption. The last over went to Shakib - his figures 3-0-17-2 until then - who needed to defend seven. Harbhajan lofted the second ball over midwicket, and let out a roar.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 28, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Seems like some Indian people are really jealous of Shakib Al Hassan who is the number 1 all-rounder in the World.............u guys became world champions please be happy with it and enjoy the reign for 4years cuz next World Cup will not be yours !! As for comparing Shakib to players lyk Yuvraj......well i wud say itz stupid to do so becuz shakib is a way better spinner than yuvraj and batting wise both of them r good in their own ways......yuvi is more attacking nd shakib is kind of a nudger n pusher !!

  • dummy4fb on May 27, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    kkr wants afridi... the only guy who can unite this team...

  • dummy4fb on May 27, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    @nilanjana paul: Well kkr also lost a few games in which they did not play both tendo and shakib. what do u have to say about that??

  • iliastop11 on May 27, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    kkr is the bst team of ipl. the only problem is they need to unite themselves !

  • Navid_Hossain on May 27, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Shakib played well but we want more from him. Specially his batting should improve. He used to be a very good batting allrounder but he has completely lost his batting form in the last 3-4 months. KKR played well.. best of luck KKR for the next ipl season

  • ENBEE on May 27, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    MI should replace SUMAN with JECOBS & POLLARD with SYMOND to win today's match.

  • dummy4fb on May 26, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    But he was more then 2.5 m out of his crease

  • dummy4fb on May 26, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    All you bangladeshi fans we understand Shakib is only representation of your country in IPL but KKR is not a one man army. Nobody question the talent of Shakib but cricket is a team game and Shakib is not Sehwag or Gayle who can change the fate of a game alone. So pls take KKR as a team, they did really well under Gambirs captaincy and all you Bengali/Bangladeshis can be proud of their performance. Thanks

  • Rezwan1492 on May 26, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    Proud of Sakib Al Hasan for his excellent performance... Bad luck in the last over, but it was a huge pressure which only Sakib can describe. Bowling the last over to defend 7 runs with a spinner is a very tough job, and Gambhir had to take this decision because it was only Sakib who was doing the job in the last few overs, but the other bowlers gifted the runs which Sakib blocked. So those who talk negative about Sakib, to them, think about your players only if you can't express positive attitude towards others.

  • gagan_deep on May 26, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    There is not much difference in KKR's performance in IPL 3 and IPL4.Last time they failed to get into semies just because of Run Rate.This time they managed to put themselves in playoff's at last position i.e. no.4 but failed to get into semies once again. There is no comparision in KKR teams earliar and this IPL.This Team is different from last season. The main reason of KKR's poor performance since IPL 1 is Team Management and SRK's attitude.First time they put Dada as a captain, second time they have a new theory of Multiple captain (really the poorest one) then again Dada as a captian in IPL 3.He did well and in most of the win of KKR last season dada was MOM.He was the 3rd Top corer of the season.This time they droped him and changed the Team with players like Kalis,Lee,Shakib,Ran Ten in.But they still failed to get into semies. Now it will be very intresting to see what will Team Management do in IPL 5.Good Luck KKR for IPL 5.

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