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Mumbai Indians win against improved Kolkata Knight Riders


With last time's beating still fresh in their minds, given that it happened just 4 days ago, the Kolkata Knight Riders looked to come out with more reason this time against the Mumbai Indians. They surely put up an improved show, but ultimately fell short.

Sachin Tendulkar won the toss, and selected to bat first. On a much slower wicket than the last time though, Sachin and Jayasuriya didn't find strokeplay as easy as before. Jayasuriya deceased early, trying to beat Dinda out of the park, but only succeeding in edging it to the keeper. Mumbai sent in Harbhajan Singh, but the trial didn't succeed, with Bhajji also falling early. Kolkata kept the force on, when Agarkar got Tendulkar. Sachin had hit the bowler for a six and a four, but ended up hitting a full toss straight to cover.When Nayar fell, just after the strategy break, Kolkata would have imaginary their chances of keeping Mumbai to below 140, but in JP Duminy, Mumbai had their top. He was kept calm initially, and with wickets falling, he didn't attempt to hit out, but concentrated on getting the singles and twos. Graham Napier gave him some hold up, but it was after Napier's dismissal that Duminy stepped up a gear. The last four overs fetch Mumbai 51 runs, with Duminy scoring 36 off those from 15 balls. He ended the innings with his 4th 6, bringing up his fifty in the process. Mumbai ended up with 148 for 6, while Duminy had 52 not out off 37 balls - his second successive half-century.

Kolkata wanted a good start from its openers to chase Mumbai's score, and the opening pair who walked out for Kolkata was a shock - it was Sourav Ganguly who walked out with Chris Gayle. The conclusion made cricketing sense, because McCullum was out of touch, while Ganguly and Gayle were Kolkata's best batsmen. However, Kolkata hadn't reckoned with Zaheer Khan.

Sourav was out off the first ball he faced, dragging one back onto his stumps, while Gayle was bowled when he failed to select the slower one. Hodge and Morne van Wyk then started re-building the innings, and after a long time Kolkata looked to be rival on equal terms with another side. Hodge and Wyk added 89 runs for the 3rd wicket, with Bradly Hodge reaching the first half-century by a Kolkata batsman this year. Even after van Wyk got out, Kolkata were in the chase, until a game changing 17th over bowled by Malinga, where he give just 7 runs. That over was followed by an equally good one by Zaheer Khan, where Kolkata lost the wicket of Shukla and scored just 8 runs, which left them with a mini-mountain of 23 runs from 2 overs. With McCullum plummeting himself down the order, and joining Hodge, it was still possible, but Malinga conceded just 4 runs off his last over, to effectively seal the issue. To top it all, Hodge was run out for very fine 73 off 60 balls, badly seeking a non-existent second run. 19 off the last over was always going to be very hard to get, and Kolkata eventually lost by 9 runs.

Man of the Match: JP Duminy


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