Mumbai v Kolkata, IPL 2012, Mumbai May 17, 2012

Knight Riders bowlers silence Mumbai

At the interval, Mumbai Indians were congratulating themselves for restricting Kolkata Knight Riders to a gettable score. When the game concluded, the clapping and high-fiving had changed hands
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The sight of Harbhajan Singh clapping and giving high-fives summed up the satisfaction of a job well done. Mumbai Indians had performed admirably to keep Kolkata Knight Riders down to a gettable score, and their batsmen, for the bulk, had the form behind them to complete the task. But they were conquered by a determined bowling attack. In the limited time available during the innings break, some of the Knight Riders bowlers made full use of the practice wickets, tried to shed any rustiness, knowing there'd be little room for error when the chase began.

Such was their excellence with the ball that the hosts' batting was comprehensively outclassed, the memory of two consecutive bowling debacles was overcome and Knight Riders' passage to the playoffs was all but ensured.

Among those bowlers warming up during the break was L Balaji, who was to later admit the Wankhede track was one of the best on offer for seamers this season. The key to his early thrift was his late away movement that confounded Herschelle Gibbs multiple times, drew scattered applause from a sporting Mumbai crowd and contributed to a quiet opening that helped Knight Riders' three specialist spinners - used for the first time together by the team this season - perform without too much pressure.

Pace was Knight Riders' weak link in their previous two defeats but Balaji and Jacques Kallis put up a redeeming display. Their return spells were just as crucial. Brought back to contain an enterprising Dinesh Karthik, Balaji may have been lucky in having him caught at fine leg. Likewise for Kallis, when he had Kieron Pollard caught-behind while hooking, but a slower bouncer was a worthy ploy against a batsman known for ruthlessness against length deliveries. Dwayne Smith's first-ball duck next up put Knight Riders in complete control but a critical feature of Knight Riders' success with the ball was the taming of the Mumbai Indians top order by spin.

Shakib Al Hasan, replacing Marchant de Lange for this match, set the tone, though he and Sunil Narine, while achieving the same aim - stifling the Mumbai Indians batting - went about their work differently. While Shakib doesn't turn the ball much, Narine imparts tremendous spin. Both vary their pace expertly, but Narine's high trajectory, ability to turn it both ways and the batsman's difficulty in deciphering him off the hand gives him that added advantage.

Shakib took on the challenge first, opening the bowling, and was accurate. He didn't give Gibbs any room, instead chased the batsman as he tried to make way to open up. While Gibbs fell playing across the line to Iqbal Abdulla after a frustrating outing, a quicker one from Shakib accounted for the in-form Ambati Rayudu in his second spell. He should have had Sachin Tendulkar, who was deceived by one that went with the arm first ball but Narine continued the mystery against the crowd favourite when he came on.

Tendulkar faced just six balls from Narine, smacking him for four once but was beaten twice, the second time by a ball that turned from outside off towards leg, clipping his thigh and then taking out the off stump as he tried to cut. Tendulkar had settled in well by then, in the 11th over, but the required-rate too had crept up to above eight. The cautious opening - the Powerplay yielded just 26 for the loss of Gibbs - that gave the visitors an early heads-up was to invite criticism from Harbhajan during the presentation. The clapping and high-fiving had changed hands.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on May 19, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Ganguly thinks Narine's mystery will be over soon as it happened to Ajanta Mendis (Today's the daily aajkal: sports news). Any comment from anyone regarding this? Don't forget some of the people have already started comparing Narine with Sayeed Ajmal ----- don't you guys think it's just too funny to compare with an International player like Ajmal with a club-cricketer like Narine? Awaiting your comments -- (hoping that cricinfo will post mine one ASAP)

  • Abaa on May 18, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    Every article it sickens me to see the sad posts lauding the player who was certainly not the best performer in this game. The star of the show for KKR throughout has been Sunil Narine and there are always thousands of comments from these sad Bangladeshi fans singing praises for the much hyped no.1 all rounder! Yeah he batted superbly scored 13 game changing runs at the spell binding strike rate of 108.33. Narine actually scored 9 at a strike rate of 150.00! And don't even talk about the bowling! On which planet is 1/25 better than 4/15 in an unfinished spell? As per the argument of one of the Einsteins below, it can be argued that Narine could have finished with the unbelievable figures of 5/9 if not for a potential catch ending in a six. KKR should not drop Brett Lee, their star pace impact bowler for a spinner when they already have the best spinner in the IPL and easily the best all rounder anyone can wish for in Kallis. Mccullum is also irreplaceable being a wicket-keeper batsman!

  • on May 17, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    @Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman ... u cant come here and quote figures he should have gotten and expect sympathy and expect him to be picked.... a catch was drop of narine which ended up going for six... so i dont see why u want to state what could have or should have happened as part of your reasoning as to why he should be picked

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    I think either MI team management should thimk seriously or Sachin Tendulkar think seriously to drop himsel. It simillar situation happened like Saurabh Ganguly. Probably, it is a day arrived for these two greats fortaking retirement from T20 format. And for next season, MI think for Ajinkya Rahane (at very big price) in place of Sachin. In this season as well as last season(specially 2nd half of the season) MI opening pair gets problem frequntly. And Sachin has not been upto his standards, which he had achieved in 3rd IPL(2010).

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Put shakib after 3 down ..Whatever the situation may be...he will gear up

  • BONG_IN_CHENNAI on May 17, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    No Sumanta; Do not ask our "GOD" to step down. let MI help the other teams, as the EDEN supporters did for the 1st three years for KKR, by blindly supporting POK (DADA).

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @ Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.Sometimes we look back on a game and say that a bad call was made or misfield was done and think well it could have been this way or the other.It is all part of the game.Ifs and could haves are part of the post mortem of the game and don't change the result or figures of some one.In the end the result does not change.

  • on May 17, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Nobody will say this, no reporter has the guts to write this but it is time Tendulkar stops leeching MI for his cut. He should leave T20 before he faces the same situation of Ganguly, he may not considering the media support he has. But most of the matches that MI has taken to last over or lost it, because of slow starting by to two old fox. Had it been some other dynamic youngster or good overseas player the fortune of MI could have been different. The problem of carrying a personality of Tendulkar is; no one can ask him to bat down the order or sit out. He knows that very well and takes full advantage of this position to exploit megabucks. If he had little bit of conscious, he should step down immediately from MI line-up which will help youngster like Rahane to serve MI better.

  • Third_Gear on May 17, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Ramansilva@ Not only BD fanz but the whole world rates SHKIBvery high, this is why from last couple of years he is the best allrounders in ODI n TEST by ICC not only that WISDEN recognised him as a game changer, he proved to be KEy player in the COUNTY cricket AND LOTS WAITING FOR YOU ofcourse BD does not give a good experience to INDIAN fanz SO no reason to be happy for INDI fanz.

  • satish619chandar on May 17, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @tauhid_aks : Honestly speaking, it was a pitch which assisted pace than spin.. And, from pace perspective, KKR didn't have any good one.. Only Balaji and Kallis were the pacers.. KKR really defied the condition and the odds to do it and all the credit goes to them.. I don't think the so called analysts were wrong at that point of time actually..

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on May 19, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Ganguly thinks Narine's mystery will be over soon as it happened to Ajanta Mendis (Today's the daily aajkal: sports news). Any comment from anyone regarding this? Don't forget some of the people have already started comparing Narine with Sayeed Ajmal ----- don't you guys think it's just too funny to compare with an International player like Ajmal with a club-cricketer like Narine? Awaiting your comments -- (hoping that cricinfo will post mine one ASAP)

  • Abaa on May 18, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    Every article it sickens me to see the sad posts lauding the player who was certainly not the best performer in this game. The star of the show for KKR throughout has been Sunil Narine and there are always thousands of comments from these sad Bangladeshi fans singing praises for the much hyped no.1 all rounder! Yeah he batted superbly scored 13 game changing runs at the spell binding strike rate of 108.33. Narine actually scored 9 at a strike rate of 150.00! And don't even talk about the bowling! On which planet is 1/25 better than 4/15 in an unfinished spell? As per the argument of one of the Einsteins below, it can be argued that Narine could have finished with the unbelievable figures of 5/9 if not for a potential catch ending in a six. KKR should not drop Brett Lee, their star pace impact bowler for a spinner when they already have the best spinner in the IPL and easily the best all rounder anyone can wish for in Kallis. Mccullum is also irreplaceable being a wicket-keeper batsman!

  • on May 17, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    @Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman ... u cant come here and quote figures he should have gotten and expect sympathy and expect him to be picked.... a catch was drop of narine which ended up going for six... so i dont see why u want to state what could have or should have happened as part of your reasoning as to why he should be picked

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    I think either MI team management should thimk seriously or Sachin Tendulkar think seriously to drop himsel. It simillar situation happened like Saurabh Ganguly. Probably, it is a day arrived for these two greats fortaking retirement from T20 format. And for next season, MI think for Ajinkya Rahane (at very big price) in place of Sachin. In this season as well as last season(specially 2nd half of the season) MI opening pair gets problem frequntly. And Sachin has not been upto his standards, which he had achieved in 3rd IPL(2010).

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Put shakib after 3 down ..Whatever the situation may be...he will gear up

  • BONG_IN_CHENNAI on May 17, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    No Sumanta; Do not ask our "GOD" to step down. let MI help the other teams, as the EDEN supporters did for the 1st three years for KKR, by blindly supporting POK (DADA).

  • on May 17, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    @ Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.Sometimes we look back on a game and say that a bad call was made or misfield was done and think well it could have been this way or the other.It is all part of the game.Ifs and could haves are part of the post mortem of the game and don't change the result or figures of some one.In the end the result does not change.

  • on May 17, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Nobody will say this, no reporter has the guts to write this but it is time Tendulkar stops leeching MI for his cut. He should leave T20 before he faces the same situation of Ganguly, he may not considering the media support he has. But most of the matches that MI has taken to last over or lost it, because of slow starting by to two old fox. Had it been some other dynamic youngster or good overseas player the fortune of MI could have been different. The problem of carrying a personality of Tendulkar is; no one can ask him to bat down the order or sit out. He knows that very well and takes full advantage of this position to exploit megabucks. If he had little bit of conscious, he should step down immediately from MI line-up which will help youngster like Rahane to serve MI better.

  • Third_Gear on May 17, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Ramansilva@ Not only BD fanz but the whole world rates SHKIBvery high, this is why from last couple of years he is the best allrounders in ODI n TEST by ICC not only that WISDEN recognised him as a game changer, he proved to be KEy player in the COUNTY cricket AND LOTS WAITING FOR YOU ofcourse BD does not give a good experience to INDIAN fanz SO no reason to be happy for INDI fanz.

  • satish619chandar on May 17, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    @tauhid_aks : Honestly speaking, it was a pitch which assisted pace than spin.. And, from pace perspective, KKR didn't have any good one.. Only Balaji and Kallis were the pacers.. KKR really defied the condition and the odds to do it and all the credit goes to them.. I don't think the so called analysts were wrong at that point of time actually..

  • anver777 on May 17, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Congrats!! KKR!!! well led by a fighting Gambhir.. with a strong support from his bowling unit. !!!!

  • on May 17, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Shakib was good yesterday.He he got sachin but umpair didnt call out.and bcs of misfielding extra 4 run added at MI.so, really shakib's figure will be 4-0-21-2

  • on May 17, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    I feel the best KKR line up is: McCullum Gambhir Kallis Tiwari Pathan Debabrata Das Bhatia Sakib/B Lee Narine Balaji Abdullah

  • on May 17, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @raman silva, if so shakib inclusion was inappropriate for yesterday can you name me one other player other than Narine to be included? this is complete arrogant and hatred for other player.Being myself from Aus you spoke very rubbish which is deceiving .

  • SamAsh07 on May 17, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @Ramansilva - BD fans just like Indian fans or any other fans want to see their stars play in the IPL, ofcourse they had BPL but IPL is rated the highest so for BD fans seeing their stars play in IPL is good enough to keep them happy and smiling. As a Pakistani fan I truely am disappointed that Pakistanis aren't allowed to play but I'm happy at the fact that ONE man is playing - Azhar Mahmood, he may have changed to British national but will always be a Pakistani. I'm sure every fan in the world likes to see their home country stars play in the IPL regardless of whether they perform or not. Plus you can't expect a sudden draft in to perform from the get-go, KKR need to keep Shakib for few more matches and see him flourish.

  • on May 17, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    @ tauhid_aks: extremely true. Everyone knows how to criticize, but to back it up with action is what counts. It's painful to see people who have little exprerience in cricket talking about it like expert pundits. *sigh*

  • CHAMP-INDIA on May 17, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    I too agree that the Strategy to start slow and with cautious is the main downfall for Mumbai Indian batting dept. Surely if they attack and make some quick 40-50 in first 6 overs, the opponent would come in pressure. Just dont allow the bowlers to settle down. this is my request to Munbai Indian team for the next coming match. Best of Luck to MI.

  • Ramansilva on May 17, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    BD fans rate Shakib very highly. They have every reason to do so. But when there are better choices available for KKR, Shakib has very little room to get into the side regularly. His performance last night was not good enough to see him as the preferred choice.

  • shahhimanshuj on May 17, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    The weakest link in MI team is its captain - Harbhajan Singh !! He has been more of a liability than an asset. What Indian Team has done - Mumbai Indians need to do it !! MI need to emulate what Deccan did - dropped captain Sangakara, RCB did - dropped capatain Vettori and now Pune - dropped Gangulay forever.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on May 17, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    In IPL 5 KKR have the best spin bowling attack so far. Shakib, Narine, Abdullah & Yousuf. Although Shakib & Abdullah isn't regular in main XI, whenever these 4 bowlers into action they make impact.

  • on May 17, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    I think it is KKR's best combination to win in home or away.hope 4 top team 1.delhi 2. kkr 3.rajasthan royals 4.bangalore. best of luck KKR,guttum, shakib.

  • on May 17, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    The MI team needs to pull up their socks!!!!its time now to get their moves and tactics right!!robin singh or pollock should hv some long talks with the team members and tell the batsmen that u should start to be sensible and also attacking!!!!sachin and gibbs scored jus 26 in their first overs!!!they must understand that they should make a aggressive or atleast a decent start to give the others who are sitting in the dugout and who are due to come in confidence !!!if they start precautiously then how could the others be so confident to bat on!!sachin has to change his plans and start to play some aggressive cricket in the first 6 overs!!if that's done then the others automatically start to perform!!!!!!this is with due respect to sachin and gibbs!!!they are the most experienced in the lineup!!

  • Kricket_ on May 17, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Shakib should be in the team.. he is a game changer.. he played well with Tiwary in the batting phase as well... Shakib is one of the best bowler in IPL based on Eco(6) & Avg& Strike rate(14, 14)..

  • tauhid_aks on May 17, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    During the innings break, in extra innings T20, Ajay Jadeja said KKR's bowling is ordinary as there is no one other than Narine. The host Archana said that Shakib' inclusion was a mistake, as it was not a turning pitch. Where are they now?

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  • tauhid_aks on May 17, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    During the innings break, in extra innings T20, Ajay Jadeja said KKR's bowling is ordinary as there is no one other than Narine. The host Archana said that Shakib' inclusion was a mistake, as it was not a turning pitch. Where are they now?

  • Kricket_ on May 17, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Shakib should be in the team.. he is a game changer.. he played well with Tiwary in the batting phase as well... Shakib is one of the best bowler in IPL based on Eco(6) & Avg& Strike rate(14, 14)..

  • on May 17, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    The MI team needs to pull up their socks!!!!its time now to get their moves and tactics right!!robin singh or pollock should hv some long talks with the team members and tell the batsmen that u should start to be sensible and also attacking!!!!sachin and gibbs scored jus 26 in their first overs!!!they must understand that they should make a aggressive or atleast a decent start to give the others who are sitting in the dugout and who are due to come in confidence !!!if they start precautiously then how could the others be so confident to bat on!!sachin has to change his plans and start to play some aggressive cricket in the first 6 overs!!if that's done then the others automatically start to perform!!!!!!this is with due respect to sachin and gibbs!!!they are the most experienced in the lineup!!

  • on May 17, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    I think it is KKR's best combination to win in home or away.hope 4 top team 1.delhi 2. kkr 3.rajasthan royals 4.bangalore. best of luck KKR,guttum, shakib.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on May 17, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    In IPL 5 KKR have the best spin bowling attack so far. Shakib, Narine, Abdullah & Yousuf. Although Shakib & Abdullah isn't regular in main XI, whenever these 4 bowlers into action they make impact.

  • shahhimanshuj on May 17, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    The weakest link in MI team is its captain - Harbhajan Singh !! He has been more of a liability than an asset. What Indian Team has done - Mumbai Indians need to do it !! MI need to emulate what Deccan did - dropped captain Sangakara, RCB did - dropped capatain Vettori and now Pune - dropped Gangulay forever.

  • Ramansilva on May 17, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    BD fans rate Shakib very highly. They have every reason to do so. But when there are better choices available for KKR, Shakib has very little room to get into the side regularly. His performance last night was not good enough to see him as the preferred choice.

  • CHAMP-INDIA on May 17, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    I too agree that the Strategy to start slow and with cautious is the main downfall for Mumbai Indian batting dept. Surely if they attack and make some quick 40-50 in first 6 overs, the opponent would come in pressure. Just dont allow the bowlers to settle down. this is my request to Munbai Indian team for the next coming match. Best of Luck to MI.

  • on May 17, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    @ tauhid_aks: extremely true. Everyone knows how to criticize, but to back it up with action is what counts. It's painful to see people who have little exprerience in cricket talking about it like expert pundits. *sigh*

  • SamAsh07 on May 17, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @Ramansilva - BD fans just like Indian fans or any other fans want to see their stars play in the IPL, ofcourse they had BPL but IPL is rated the highest so for BD fans seeing their stars play in IPL is good enough to keep them happy and smiling. As a Pakistani fan I truely am disappointed that Pakistanis aren't allowed to play but I'm happy at the fact that ONE man is playing - Azhar Mahmood, he may have changed to British national but will always be a Pakistani. I'm sure every fan in the world likes to see their home country stars play in the IPL regardless of whether they perform or not. Plus you can't expect a sudden draft in to perform from the get-go, KKR need to keep Shakib for few more matches and see him flourish.