Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Kolkata Knight Riders 159 for 3 (Tripathi 74*, Iyer 53, Bumrah 3-42) beat Mumbai Indians 155 for 6 (de Kock 55, Rohit 33, Ferguson 2-27) by seven wickets
Scintillating half-centuries from Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer gave Kolkata Knight Riders a thumping seven-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi. As a result, Knight Riders have jumped to the fourth spot on the points table, with eight points from nine games.
Chasing 155, Knight Riders attacked right from the start. Shubman Gill fell early but Iyer and Tripathi added 88 in 52 balls for the second wicket. Iyer struck 53 off 30 balls and Tripathi an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls as Knight Riders chased down the target in 15.1 overs.
Earlier, a returning Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock put together 78 in 9.2 overs for the first wicket. At that stage, Mumbai looked on track for a total in the vicinity of 180. However, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and, towards the end, Lockie Ferguson pulled things back to restrict them to a sub-par total.
Rohit, de Kock lay the foundation
In Knight Riders' last game against Mumbai Indians, Eoin Morgan had deployed spin for the first five overs. On Thursday, the spinners bowled the first four overs and managed to keep the scoring rate in check despite Rohit finding the boundary every now and then.
At the other end, de Kock was on 6 off eight balls against spin. But once the seamers came on, he cut loose. In six balls, he hit three sixes off Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna to take Mumbai to 56 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. Andre Russell wasn't spared either with de Kock welcoming him into the attack with back-to-back fours.
WATCH - Tripathi brings up half-century with a six
Knight Riders' bowlers strike back
Narine provided Knight Riders with a breakthrough when Rohit mistimed a slog sweep and was caught at long-on. That started a lull. Mumbai managed only 29 runs from overs 10 to 15 as Prasidh picked up the wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and de Kock. The latter reached his half-century off 37 balls before mistiming a slower ball to short midwicket.
The onus was now on Kieron Pollard to help Mumbai finish strongly. In the 18th over, he smashed Prasidh over deep midwicket for a six before pocketing a streaky four to fine leg off the next ball. He moved to 21 off 13 balls but was running out of time. Ferguson then bowled an excellent final over, conceding just six runs. Eventually, Pollard was run out off the second ball of the 20th over. Off the third, Krunal Pandya holed out to long-on as the innings petered out.
Iyer, Tripathi break the back of the chase
Knight Riders' openers, Gill and Iyer, gave the side a breezy start for the second time in two games. Gill started it by launching Trent Boult over deep midwicket before Iyer pulled him over deep square-leg for the second six of the over. In the next over, Iyer hit Adam Milne for a six and two fours. By the time, Jasprit Bumrah bowled Gill with an offcutter, Knight Riders had raced to 40 in three overs.
Coming in at No. 3, Tripathi continued in the same vein. He slashed Boult to the right of third man, paddled Milne over short fine and by the end of the powerplay, the scorecard was displaying 63 for 1. Even after the field restrictions were lifted, Iyer and Tripathi didn't stop going for their shots. Iyer was the first to bring up his fifty, off just 25 balls. Tripathi reached the landmark soon after, in 29 balls, with a top-edged six off Bumrah.
Tripathi, Morgan apply finishing touches
It was Bumrah once again who struck for Mumbai, pegging back Iyer's leg stump with a slower ball, but it was too late for a miracle. With Knight Riders needing 28 off 48 balls, Tripathi hit Chahar for a six and four, with Morgan finishing the over with another six. Morgan became Bumrah's third wicket before Nitish Rana reverse-swept Rohit to take the side over the line.