The Kolkata Knight Riders tamed Mumbai Indians in match number 34 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season. MI lost a second match in succession since IPL’s resumption in the UAE. They had been beaten by Chennai Super Kings in the opener. Asked to bat first, MI managed 155/6 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine were terrific for KKR, giving away just 42 runs from eight overs they bowled. In response, Venkatesh Iyer continued his brilliance, scoring a glorious fifty, Not to forget, Rahul Tripathi chipped in with a valiant 42-ball 74*. KKR chased down the target in just 15.1 overs (159/3). With this win, KKR have moved to fourth in the table. MI have slipped to sixth. Both teams have eight points from nine games, separated only by NRR.
In this article, we present an analysis of which team fared how across the powerplay, middle and death overs.
The powerplay overs (1-6) saw KKR start with four overs of spin and the bowlers didn’t disappoint. The first four overs saw MI manage 29/0 and things were in the balance. However, just when Eoin Morgan shifted to pace for the fifth and sixth overs, MI cut loose. Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna conceded 27 runs in the two overs as MI finished the PP overs with the score reading 56/0. Quinton de Kock scored a well made 27 and Rohit Sharma also hit 27 from 20 balls.
On the other hand, KKR dazzled at the start, picking up 30 runs from the first two overs. They lost Shubman Gill in the third over but KKR continued the good work ending with 63/1 after six overs. It was Iyer, who slammed a 15-ball 33 in the PP overs. Rahul Tripathi scored 16. KKR hit nine boundaries in the PP overs, whereas, MI managed eight. It’s safe to say, it was a good start from both teams.
The middle overs (7-15) was the turning point. MI managed 50/3 in these nine overs in the middle phase. What KKR did well was to keep the run flow in check. Narine and Chakravarthy started well by giving away seven runs in the sixth and seventh over. However, Andre Russell was costly, conceding 14 runs in the ninth. Narine then claimed Rohit’s scalp, dismissing him for the seventh time in IPL. Chakravarthy conceded just six runs in the 11th over and Narine then gave away three. Prasidh stole the show claiming Suryakumar Yadav and De Kock in the 13th and 15th over respectively.
KKR got the job done in the middle overs. There was no stopping Iyer and Tripathi. The Knights managed 92 runs in the middle overs and the job was next to complete. They lost just two wickets and slammed 12 boundaries. Tripathi was the chief architect, slamming 58 runs.
Death overs (16-20) are extremely crucial in terms of acceleration. MI started well as Russell conceded 13 runs in the 16th over. However, Ferguson’s magical 17th over saw KKR get a wicket as he conceded just two. Prasidh bowled a costly 18th over, giving away 18 runs and Russell followed it with 10. However, Ferguson’s last over saw KKR take two wickets and concede just six runs, MI managed 49 runs in the final five overs and lost three wickets. The key wicket was a run out of Kieron Pollard (21 from 15). Ferguson shined for KKR, conceding just eight from two overs. He gave away one four.
KKR faced just one ball in the death overs. They needed one run and Nitish Rana played a reverse sweep for a four to win the match.
KKR’s mastery in the middle overs was the difference. Credit to Tripathi for upping the tempo as KKR kept up with the scoring rate. They maintained 10-plus runs an over.