Knight Riders v Mumbai, IPL 2014, Cuttack May 14, 2014

Uthappa stars in Knight Riders' third straight win


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Hattangadi: In-form Uthappa has given Kolkata an edge

Kolkata Knight Riders 142 for 4 (Uthappa 80) beat Mumbai Indians 141 for 5 (Rohit 51, Morkel 2-35, Narine 1-18) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Three days ago, when Kolkata Knight Riders played at the Barabati Stadium, they were the away team and the stands were awash in the silver and red of Kings XI Punjab. Today, there was a sea change as the stadium was purple and gold, and Knight Riders were the home team, but there was little difference in the pattern the match followed.

Three days ago, Kings XI were throttled by Knight Riders' bowlers for 140-odd before Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir set the base for a comfortable chase. Today, Mumbai Indians were throttled by Knight Riders' bowlers for 140-odd before Uthappa and Gambhir set the base for a comfortable chase.

It was a tricky surface to bat on, with the spinners getting some bite, and the ball routinely staying low. Knight Riders got their strategy right for this pitch, by bringing in Shakib Al Hasan at the expense of Jacques Kallis to strengthen a spin department that already had Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla.

All three played their part: Shakib choked the runs and planted doubts with a grubber that dismissed opener Lendl Simmons, Chawla broke the stand between Mumbai's main Indian batsmen, Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma, before Narine did what he unfailingly does in virtually every game - be un-hittable in the death.

Rohit struggled early on but capitalised on a sitter put down by Yusuf Pathan to go on to make a half-century. But even with a middle-order line-up reading Rohit, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard, only three out of the final ten overs went for more than eight runs. Yet again, Mumbai struggled to make the best use of their biggest hitter, Pollard, who came in as late as the 17th over, and was tied down by the spinners.

Mumbai needed early wickets if they were to make a game of this, but Gambhir and Uthappa put on their fourth successive half-century partnership for the opening wicket. Though Gambhir inside-edged onto the stumps for 14, Uthappa went on make his highest score in the IPL to ensure the game didn't slip away. On a track where no other batsman looked comfortable, Uthappa timed the ball superbly as he extended his rich vein of form.

Once again, the lack of depth in Mumbai's bowling was exposed. Harbhajan Singh gave Mumbai a whiff of a chance by dismissing Manish Pandey in the 15th over, but instead of going for the kill, Mumbai turned to Simmons' dibbly-dobblies. Uthappa caned them for a couple of sixes to drain away the last of Mumbai's hopes in the game. Mumbai now need to win their four remaining games to stay in contention for the playoffs

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohamed on May 16, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Don't talk about yusuf pathan he proved his form again and again in local cricket as baroda captain . can't judge ones talent in few matches. Even gambhir flopped in first few matches. But he got chance after getting form than yusuf. How he took the matches vs south africa in south africa dont forget that. Even kohli struggled in south africa

  • nalla on May 15, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    MI should play this XI for the rest of the IPL 1. Tare 2. Michael Hussey(give him another chance) 3. Rayudu 4. Rohit Sharma 5. Corey Anderson 6. Pollard 7. Bhajji 8. Praveen Kumar 9. Ojha 10. Bhumrah 11. De Lange/Santokie(if wkt is bouncy, play de lange...if wkt is slow, play santokie)

  • nathaniel on May 15, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    I wish uthappa, gambhir and sehwag to return to team india. For kkr kallis should play, shakib is probably 2nd best baller for kkr so he definitely should play all games but I think kallis should stay in place of the pacer ut yadav.

  • niaz on May 15, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    KKR's fortune have changed since using Uthappa at the top. You have to use the high SR (and decent average) bats at the top. Finisher is a wrong concept. KKR should try Yadav or Sakib at the top. If they play tendoschate.. they might as well bat him at 3 to see if he contributes. Kallis is a better bowler (even at this age). Unless Tendoschate bats at the top Sakib should get nods over him. Sakib has high SR, he is probably the second or third best spinner after Narine. Uthappa, Ghamvir, Sakib, Yadav, Pandey, Yusuf/DBDas, Kallis, Vinay/Chawla, Narine, Morkel, UmeshYadav.

  • PK on May 15, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Y Pathan has lost his confidence. He is now a liability to the team. He has had a woeful IPL season this year! KKR - please think hard. Team selection should be based on consistent CURRENT performances; not on how he played five years ago. There are many deserving young INDIAN players sitting on the bench waiting to prove their mettle. Other than selection of Y Pathan, the overall team selection of KKR has been good!

  • Android on May 15, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    wait! csk were also in similar position they win their last 4 match and depend on other and then went on to become champion in 2010 they lost 7 and win 7 .so why not luck favour mi they have to win their last 4 game hope luck favour them.this will make ipl exciting !

  • anwar on May 15, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    shakib is even more impressive this year . .in his 7 matches this year he concede only 5.96 runs per over and got 7 wickets . .while narine played 10 matches and got 14 wickets for 6.17 runs per over . .yes shakib didn't have to bowl death overs much . .but he bowled almost half of his overs in powerplayes . .you have to be a very good bowler to bowl spin in powerplay . .shakib has been doing this regularly . .and in t20 almost every batsmen try to make big shots . .bowling at death is also tough but it gives you more wickets . .but shakib gives you important breakthrough at the starting . .although shakib didn't get chances to bat in his comfort position at the top . .but he batted decently this year . .his avg is 30 in 7 matches and sr is about 140 . .but kkr's management are just ridiculous . .

  • anwar on May 15, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    shakib is the second most economical bowler in ipl history . .he played 22 matches in ipl and got 30 wickets till now . .his economy rate in ipl is only 6.43 . .and 1st best is sunil narine . .he played 41 matches and got 60 wickets . .his economy rate is 5.64 . .this statistics shows how good player shakib is . .any ipl team would like this stats very much for their main spinner . .let alone his bowling figure . .he is also a very good top order batsman . .can play well any bowler in the world . .kkr is fool enough not to utilize his ability properly . .if he could get support from the team management as narine ,kallis gets . .he could be one of the most dominating player in ipl history . .

  • Afnan on May 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    abcdef_12345 -- Good Judgement.

  • Ashok on May 15, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    For the way they're playing this season, Mumbai Indians don't deserve to go to the next round (I'm a true blood Mumbaikar btw).

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