Knight Riders Thrash Mumbai, Step Closer to Playoffs

Mumbai, May 17 (IANS): Kolkata Knight Riders moved a step closer to qualifying for the playoffs with a convincing 32-run win over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here Wednesday.

Put in, Knight Riders recovered from a poor start, and crucial innings from Manoj Tiwari (41), Gautam Gambhir (27) and Yusuf Pathan (21 not out) helped them achieve a modest total of 140 for seven in 20 overs.

Tight bowling by the Knight Riders and a mesmerizing spell of spin bowling by West Indian Sunil Narine (four for 15) helped his team bowl out Mumbai for a paltry 108.

Jacques Kallis (2-32) too played a key role as he removed Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith off successive balls to put Kolkata in the driving seat. Lakshmipathy Balaji also picked up two wickets giving away just 11 runs from his four overs.

This win took the visitors to second place in the table with 19 points while Mumbai are just one point behind with both teams left with a single match.

The hosts chasing a moderate total were immediately put under pressure by disciplined bowling by Kolkata. South African Herchelle Gibbs was the first one to go, trapped in front of the wicket by Iqbal Abdulla.

Sachin Tendulkar (27) and Dinesh Karthik (20) put on a 46-run stand too fell in close succession to leave Mumbai in a spot of bother with the score on 66 for three in the 13th over.

Ambati Rayudu (11) and Kieron Pollard (8) could not replicate the heroics of their previous match and fell cheaply.

From then on, it was easy sailing for Kolkata as Mumbai batsmen failed to come to terms with some brilliant bowling. Kallis and Narine took two wickets each in the 17th and 18th over to put an end to Mumbai's resistance.

Earlier, Kolkata after being put into bat were unlucky to lose Brendon McCullum early. R.P. Singh, who moved the ball about initially, trapped the New Zealender in front of the stumps. However, with McCullum advancing a long way and the ball pitching outside leg stump, umpire Subroto Das got one horribly wrong.

The Knight Riders were then dealt a double blow, with the left-arm pacer castling Jacques Kallis the very next ball. Gautam Gambhir (27), Kolkataa's most prolific batsman this year, again came to the rescue of his team forging a 38-run partnership with Manoj Tiwary (41).

However, the Kolkata skipper could not carry on and got bowled by a slower ball from Kieron Pollard. Tiwary and Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (13) continued the good work with a 45-run partnership but Shakib trying to up the ante lost his leg stump to Dwayne Smith.

Tiwary too trying to clear the boundary was dismissed by a good running catch by Lasith Malinga.

Yusuf Pathan (21 not out) played a scrappy innings but with the help of Rajat Bhatia (12) and Sunil Narine (9 not out), Kolkata reached a fighting total.


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Title: Knight Riders Thrash Mumbai, Step Closer to Playoffs

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