Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 16, 2014

Kolkata open with thumping victory


Kolkata 163 for 5 (Kallis 72, Pandey 64, Malinga 4-23) beat Mumbai 122 for 7 (Narine 4-20) by 41 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 05:57
Huddle - Narine proves as big a threat as Malinga

On a green Abu Dhabi pitch that had plenty of bounce, Kolkata cruised to a big win over defending champions Mumbai in the opening game of the season. The biggest difference was the impact made by the teams' overseas players: Lasith Malinga was the only one who delivered for Mumbai, but for Kolkata Jacques Kallis set up the innings with a 72, Morne Morkel squeezed the chase with a burst of 2-0-2-0 at the start of the innings, and Sunil Narine scalped four as he became the quickest bowler to 50 wickets in the tournament.

Kolkata, on choosing to bat, began poorly with their captain Gautam Gambhir scratching around for a eight-ball duck that was ended by a pinpoint Malinga yorker. Manish Pandey, whose most famous feat remains his breakthrough century in the 2009 season, grabbed his chance at No. 3, and put on a 131-run stand with Kallis.

It was slow going early on, with only four fours and a six in the first 10 overs. Kallis has regularly faced questions over the pacing of his innings in Twenty20s, and when he was 34 off 31 in the 14th over, the murmurs were at their loudest, especially as Kolkata had a bunch of hitters waiting for their chance. On the next delivery, Malinga put down a sitter off Kallis at short fine leg. It prompted a series of big hits from Kallis. He ransacked 37 off his next 13 deliveries, including two sixes and a four off a Pragyan Ojha over.

Pandey, who hasn't quite lived up to the Twenty20 reputation earned by that out-of-the-blue knock, also quickened his pace after getting to his half-century, even slugging a Malinga slower ball for six. After a couple of seasons in which he has struggled to hold down a spot in the XI, this innings should give him a bit of a run in the side. After his dismissal, Malinga struck twice in his final over, before Suryakumar Yadav played a couple of innovative strokes to lift Kolkata to 163.

The last time Morkel played an official T20, he was taken for 50 runs in three overs. He was up against Michael Hussey, the highest run-getter of the previous season. Morkel exploited the bounce in the pitch to drain away any momentum the chase could gather, and Hussey had one of his worst outings as he pottered around for 13-ball 3 before falling to Narine.

Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma, two of the stalwarts of Mumbai over the years, tried to up the scoring but against an attack that didn't give away much on a surface where the ball wasn't quite coming on, the asking rate kept on increasing. They put on 61 off 45 deliveries, but when Rohit perished to a tumbling Kallis catch off Morkel in the 16th over, the game was virtually over.

Mumbai needed 63 off 28, but their big-hitting allrounders, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson, had a horrid time against the guile of Narine, who ended with figures of 4 for 20 to ensure a resounding win for Kolkata.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Parnal on April 18, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    I think KKR should play Tendo ahead of Shakib as Shakib completely flopped in both batting @ bowling in previous game. Tendo is miles ahead of Shakib in batting and also is among the best T20 finishers for all teams he has played for.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    People , its just one game , TOO EARLY to say who should be replaced or who is strong who is weak. Lets see how these two teams play couple of more games and then give your opinion. Those who eagerly want to bring in ryan tendo , dont you know shakib is in kkr for balling. I would replace shakib with a baller , not with ryan tendo and I'd bring ryan tendo in place of a batsman not replacing a baller. Besides , that guy shakib bowled the first 3 overs fine , only his last over was bad. Lets see 2 more games and then we would have better idea.

  • David on April 17, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Almost ignored is the contribution of Morkel. He tied Mumbai down in the power play, allowing 2 runs in 2 overs, had the best economy rate of any bowler in the match, and took the wicket of MI's captain and (supposedly) best batsman.

    In the 1st 4 overs Vinay Kumar went for 15 runs, Morkel for 2. He built pressure for Narine to exploit. He came back in the 14th & conceded 3. With the pressure really on, Rohit attacked him in the 16th, and promptly lost his wicket. It was a very valuable bowling performance.

  • ankur on April 17, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    This was expected on the backdrop of poor player choices in the IPL auction. A team like RR made brilliant "value for money" purchases while MI stuck to it's picking the "biggest hype" player before the auction in Anderson like they did with Pollard in 2008.

    The problem is they dropped the very players who won them two titles last year viz. Johnson, Smith and Maxwell and picked players like bhajji,zak and hussey who are no longer good enough.

    I see a very tough season for MI ahead.

  • Mash on April 17, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    I didn't understand why some people criticise to Shakib,when he get to chance 1st eleven, allways he try to deliver at his best,even bat or ball.if kolkata ignore Shakib's talent,i think that will be a big fault.

  • Ashok on April 17, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Gambhir's trategy of "Right horses for the right courses" paid rich dividends. It was very canny captaincy in rotation of the Bowlers that made MI's batting look very fragle. Rohit Sharma will have to go to his plan B in chasing such tall targets of 163 or have better bowling to restrict the opposition to 140. His other alternative is to promote Anderson to #4 so that hitting starts earlier. There is lot of room to manovour, this being the first match. Gambhir had a plan of action & executed it to perfection. His touch of bringing on Narine to attack Hussey & his fearlessness in bringing Chawla to attack Pollard & Anderson was a stroke of Genius or Luck! It really paid off. Of course Narine was his trump card & he exploited it very well. Morkel's pace & bounce kept Rohit & Rayudu on backfoot. All in all it was a fine team work by KKR both in batting & bowling to pull off a great win in their opening match. Unfortunately Gambhir was out for a duck which will be remedied in Match #2.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    It been a good game for inagural match for KKR,Kallis usually good rotator but this match he has acclerate in 13th and 14 th over was awesome,this is key KKR posted 160+ score on board,Pandey supported well,i have been the Mumbai Fan.but the way mumbai played not spirited,Mumbai has to learn and come back strongly.pollard should have to utilized early.i cant understand why mumbai not even tested

  • Clifford on April 17, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    Who put Malinga to field at short fine leg? I've never had the impression that he's a great fielder - captain's error.

    Sunil is the young bowling prince of IPL but why would you play him for the offie when he pitches it middle and leg? You've got to know the leg cutter is coming. To be fair two of his wickets were to lefties and when he pitches it on a lefty's off-stump it's got be hell when you can't pick him (e.g. Hussey).

    Still amazed that so many rate Pollard, I'm a Windies fan and even I know he can't bat spin or the swinging ball, against Morkel and Narine he'd just be slowing things down or get out. He's OK where he is - he can either be a hero with a quick 30 or a zero.

    Corey Anderson is going to be important for them whether he performs or not.

  • Vasudevan on April 17, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    The organisers need to quickly improve on many counts. Even after 6 years of IPL, it was disappointing to see very poor camera work and shot coordination. Whoever is the video mixing person, he seems to lack cricketing knowledge. The video was missing during many critical moments of the game. The angle was missing when the umpiring review needed it most. There was no zoom replays in professional ways. There is echo of the bat-ball sound presumably coming from the stump mike. Too much noise coming through commentary box. And as usual they stick in advertisements even before the commentator finished his sentences. Overall, very unprofessional cricket coverage by the camera, mixing and broadcasting crew. Surprising that Star Sports being a sponsor, is not broadcasting the event. Looks like IMG has a change of staff, and it shows.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    can somebody teach malinga to catch..........? if so MI would be chasing at least 30 runs lesser,,,,,,,,,,,,!