Abu Dhabi, Oct 16: Eoin Morgan's aim to start his first game as Kolkata Knight Riders captain turned out to be a disappointing one as they were defeated by Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 encounter here on Friday (October 16).
Chasing a below-par total of 149, Mumbai Indians cruised home with 21 balls to spare. Quinton de Kock was the top-scorer for the defending champions as he punished KKR bowlers. The southpaw scored 44-ball 78 and smashed nine fours and three sixes. With this win, Mumbai reached the top of the points table with 12 points.
Mumbai Indians, who secured their fifth win in the tournament on the trot, started the run chase on a dominant not as openers De Kock and Rohit Sharma (35) gave their side a sublime start in the powerplay. Rohit played a second fiddle in the innings by continuously giving the strike to his partner. The openers forged a partnership of 94 runs and by the time Rohit was dismissed in the 11th over.
Suryakumar Yadav (10) was dismissed early when Varun Chakravarthy clean bowled the in-form batsman. Later, Hardik Pandya (21*) along with De Kock, who was adjudged man of the match, ensured their team reached home without any further troubles.
With 148 to defend, KKR bowlers had a forgettable outing as they could hardly pose any threat to Mumbai batters. KKR's bowling looked toothless in the match as Pat Cummins, Chris Green, Prasidh Krishna and Andre Russell went for runs and couldn't put pressure on the opposition. Chakravarthy and Shivam Mavi were the only bowlers who bagged a wicket each.
Earlier in the day, Morgan - who took over as the captain of KKR from Dinesh Karthik - won the toss and opted to bat first on a flat Abu Zayed Indian Stadium track. Mumbai bowlers started on a dominant note as they dismissed Rahul Tripathi (7) and Nitish Rana (5) in the power-play itself.
Suryakumar Yadav took a stunning diving catch at point region to send Tripathi back and Trent Boult gave KKR their first breakthrough. Rana edged Nathan Coulter-Nile's delivery and De Kock pouched a simple catch.
Later, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar gave Knight Riders big jolts as he removed in-form Shubman Gill (21) and Dinesh Karthik (4) off consecutive deliveries and pushed KKR on the backfoot. MI skipper Rohit Sharma, later, brought his trusted lieutenant Jasprit Bumrah back in the attack in the 11th over to tackle Andre Russell. Bumrah surprised Russell (12) with a sharp short-pitched bouncer to which the Jamaican had no answer to. The ball hit the backside of Russell's bat and went high in the air and Quinton de Kock took a simple catch to give KKR their fifth jolt.
However, captain Morgan (39* off 29) along with Australia pacer Pat Cummins forged a partnership of 87 runs in the last 9 overs to ensure his team had something to defend. Cummins displayed his batting skills as he scored an unbeaten 36-ball 53. The right-handed batsman from Australia equalled MS Dhoni's record by scoring a half-century batting at number 7.
Bumrah was economical as he conceded just 22 runs from his quota of 4 overs. Rahul Chahar returned with figures of 18/2. Pacers Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile also picked up a wicket each.