Mumbai clinch a cliffhanger

Mumbai clinch a cliffhanger

Rana, Hardik power two-time champs across the line against Knight Riders

Mumbai clinch a cliffhanger
Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya produced match-winning performances as Mumbai Indians pulled off a sensational four-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

Chasing the visitors’ total of 178 for seven, built mainly around Manish Pandey’s swashbuckling 47-ball 81, Mumbai got off to a superb start before losing four wickets in a cluster and looked down in the dumps at 119 for five before pulling off the win in 19.5 overs.

The heroes of Mumbai’s thrilling run-chase were one-down batsman Nitish Rana, who kept them in the hunt when wickets fell around him to make a 29-ball 50, and Hardik Pandya who cracked an 11-ball 29 to clinch a thrilling win.

Pandya also hit the winning stroke, a four towards long leg, in a dramatic last over after being dropped in the same over of Trent Boult, as Mumbai opened their account, having lost their lung-opener to Rising Pune Supergiant on April 6.

Mumbai needed 49 runs off the last three overs and the 18th over by Boult swung the game their way as he was hit for two sixes, one each by Rana and Pandya, conceding 19 runs that brought down the run rate.

Although Rana departed in the penultimate over from Ankit Rajpoot after reaching his 50 in 28 balls, Pandya struck Rajpoot for a six to bring down the equation to eleven from six balls.

He then rode his luck in the final over in which there was a misfield that got him a four and then the dropped catch reprieved him before he hit the winning four.

In the Mumbai run-chase, openers Parthiv Patel (30) and Jos Buttler (28) put on 65 runs before the partnership was broken in the 8th over by Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Singh who trapped left-handed Patel in front.

Mumbai, then, lost the wickets of Buttler and captain Rohit Sharma, who were both declared out leg before off a full toss and a clear inside-edge respectively by Ankit Rajpoot and Sunil Narine.

Both decisions looked not out on TV replays and Rohit, out to the sixth ball he faced, was incensed with the decision of umpire C K Nandan and remonstrated, showing his bat, for which he may face censure from the match referee.

And when Krunal Pandya was caught behind to a leg side deflection, MI were left struggling at 97 for four in the 13th over.

Rana smacked Kuldeep for a six and a four in successive balls while Kieron Pollard pulled Rajput from wide of stumps over the mid-wicket to keep the hunt on as Mumbai crossed 100.

But the asking rate kept climbing so that MI needed 64 in the last five overs.

Earlier, Pandey smashed five sixes and as many fours to blitz his way to an unbeaten 81 and help the Knight Riders recover from a mini collapse and muster a challenging score.
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