Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2013, Kolkata April 24, 2013

Smith leads Mumbai come-from-behind win


Mumbai Indians 162 for 5 (Smith 62, Rohit 34, Narine 3-17) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 159 for 6 (Kallis 37, Ojha 2-21) by 5 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Harbhajan Singh went for 26 runs in a horror first over of the match, but he hit a six in the last over that broke the hearts of a packed Eden Gardens to top off Mumbai Indian's comeback in the match. From 46 for 1 after three overs of the match, Mumbai clawed their way back through Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga and Pragyan Ojha who went for 72 runs in their 12 overs and took six wickets, including just three runs in the special last over bowled by Malinga. Dwayne Smith then led the chase with batting more hit than miss, followed by handy contributions from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard before Harbhajan redeemed himself for the night.

There was a measure of redemption for Rohit too, who was leading in the absence of Ricky Ponting who had sat himself out. Rohit went against the common knowledge that Yusuf Pathan has been going through a wretched time against pace, and instead provided him spin at the start. Yusuf tucked into Harbhajan who seemed to lose fresh chunks of confidence every ball.

Immediately partial redemption arrived for Harbhajan when Yusuf edged to him at slip the first legitimate delivery of pace he faced. Mumbai had got a toe in the door there, and little by little they shoved their foot in. Johnson got Yusuf, Ojha frustrated and got the other big two, Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis, the latter once again for a pedestrian strike-rate, which often gets masked by Kallis' all-round ability and stylish stroke-play. Kallis wasn't available to bowl today, and the man substituting for him was involved in a crucial and unfortunate incident.

Coming together at 92 for 3 in the 12th over, Eoin Morgan and Manoj Tiwary tried to force the pace, but Johnson and Malinga proved to be too good towards the end. Morgan hit Johnson straight to midwicket, and Malinga's last over was a reminder of how impossible it was to hit him was when he was at his best. A mix of yorkers and slower balls had two sets of stumps demolished.

In the chase, it seemed like Mumbai were playing against one man, Sunil Narine, who took three wickets for 17, and turned the game around every time he was called upon, but the batsmen were smart and batted well against the others. Narine dismissed the birthday boy Sachin Tendulkar through the gate pretty early, but by then the scratchy Smith was beginning to time a few.

And Smith is a dangerous batsman that way. He can look scratchy before hitting a brief purple patch and taking the slightly relaxed opposition by surprise. As he did in this game, even with wickets falling at the other end. By the time he got out - in Narine's second over, in his second spell - he had clobbered 62 of Mumbai's 82 runs, and had left them 78 to get in nine overs.

Captain Rohit now targeted Sachithra Senanayake, who registered his most expensive Twenty20 figures: 1 for 50 in four overs. Two sixes in one over brought the target down to 56 off seven overs, an asking rate consistent with the one at the start of the innings. Normally, you would back the chasing side, but Narine still had two overs remaining, but even before Narine was called back a slice of luck awaited Mumbai.

For the second time this season, a Knight Riders fielder at long-off lost a catch in the lights, and this one proved to be mighty expensive. Pollard was missed by substitute Brendon McCullum, and he had brought the target down to 10 by the time he eventually got out. Narine, though, had his last say before retiring for the night, taking Rohit with the last ball he bowled, leaving Mumbai 28 to get off three overs.

Pollard looked assured for two overs, but was done in by an extremely slow delivery at the start of the last over, bowled by Rajat Bhatia. It was clear the trick had lost all its novelty when Harbhajan waited deep in the crease, and smacked a slow dolly over midwicket. Three off three was easy to get after that.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hrit on April 25, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    KKR are in this situation only for these reasons: 1. Absence of Shakib who is the best supporter of Narine with his left arm off breaks. 2. Pathan , Kallis and Tiwary not in form 3. No McCullum Since no tiwary for the next match, Team for the next match should be: Gambhir Pathan McCullum Morgan Tendo Das Bhatia Abdulla Narine Balaji Ahmed

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    @avi56 dude you got that wrong..rajat bhatia is a bowler who balls the speed of an average college bowler...harbhajan was only person who played him like a slow bowler...common you can cart a player bowling at 80-90kmph ! my college team players bowl above 100 and we dont even enter quarters ! Mumbai is a mercurial batting line up but with bowling they are awesum...just bring in Dhawal kulkarni...you c apart from harbhajan all the bowlers bowled at 6rpo...wich s superb

  • TVicky on April 25, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    KKR had a competitive total on the board but they lost because of two major reasons : firstly the absence of Kallis with the ball and secondly because Sachitra Senanayke went for runs.

  • gnanzcupid on April 25, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Harbhajan has been the main weak link in mi. Just show the man his door if mi should make it next stage.

  • sachinisawesome on April 25, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @ rajcan , Agree with u but why r u giving special treatment to all other senior players. Sachin's strike rate is better than Dravid, Kallis, Jayawardene, Sangakara, and gilchrist in this addition. And list goes on and on if I start mentioning "youngsters" Rahane, and co. So please first u have some perspective.

  • Krishhhhh on April 25, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    KKR is back to business .. from joke to champions and from champions to joke again .. and they are one among the consistent team this IPL .. yes they are consistently sitting in No 7 of the table. Come on guys you can do it .. just two more win by Pune and Delhi is enough to top the table from bottom. They got to bench Yusuf and play Brendon in place of kallis.

  • SherjilIslam on April 25, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I can't understand Gambhir's obsession with spinners.....Playing 3 to 4 spinners along-with Balaji and Bhatia (Faster spinners) is just restricting yourself with a very predictable bowling line-up. They should atleast play one fast bowler either Lee/Ahmed.Also again I m saying, Mc Cullum has to find a way in this team.

  • sweetspot on April 25, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    In the end this was a match between two teams that aren't playing the best cricket at the moment. KKR seemed to have worked out a formula for success last year but have shown reluctance to change. Gambhir has gone to sleep as a captain. He really leans too much on this mystery bowling business. It didn't take long for others to figure out Senanayake. This dibbly dobbly stuff from Bhatia can work if the batsmen are under serious pressure, not if they are ticking off 8 an over without risking anything. Overall, it looks like KKR don't have what it takes to come out of this slide.

  • Avi56 on April 25, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    I told earlier also they do not need Senanayake...Narine is doing the job..Abdullah another addition..and Our man goes for 50 runs in his 4 overs. Wow. McCullum and Gambhir is the best opening pair for them. McCullum doing the Big hits and Gambhir anchoring the innings with 4s and singles.. A good start is what is required.But however, i can still say MI werent a good team at all today...It was Dwayne Smith who handed the victory. The match goes till the last ball tht too thanks to Bhajji's Fluke Six in the last over. Anyways I can only see these teams can play for pride ahead becos none of them wil make it to playoffs. RCB,CSK and SRH (they some how win) booked the top spots and the 4th will go to either RR or KXIP..(mostly RR). Now MI go to play RCB and KKR vs CSK...Oh well hope to see a little Fierce Competition rather than easy victories.

  • Viraj_Asanka on April 25, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Its time to drop Kallis for Tendo or McCullum...We have seen enough of kallis.....No doubt he is a class Test player but He is not in that league to play t20.....He hardly gets a strike rate over 105...there is many players in the kkr line up who can guide the innings i.e (Tendo,Tiwary), Kallis isnt the only one....so its time to drop KALLIS (the so called man to guide the innings but in reality ends up scoring 20 or 30 at a strike rate of 95-100)...........