Mumbai win takes SRH through

Mumbai win takes SRH through

HIT MAN: Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma hammers one to the fence during his unbeaten 55 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL tie in Mumbai on Sunday. Mumbai won the match by nine wickets. PTI

Rohit Sharma struck an unbeaten 55 to lead Mumbai Indians to an easy 9-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders, which gave them the pole position in the IPL table and also ensured a play-off berth for Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Sunday.

Rohit stitched two crucial partnerships, first a 49-run stand with Quinton de Kock for the opening wicket and then another 88 runs for the unconquered second wicket with Suryakumar Yadav (46 not) as Mumbai chased down the target of 134 with 3.5 overs to spare.

The Mumbai captain hit eight fours off 48 balls while Yadav consumed 27 balls for his unbeaten 46.

Mumbai ended the league phase with 18 points from 14 matches -- the same as Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals -- but they secured the top spot by virtue of better run rate. Mumbai had a net run rate of 0.421 as against 0.131 and 0.044 of CSK and DC respectively.

Mumbai’s win meant that KKR are knocked out of the tournament with Sunrisers making it to the play-offs at their expense on a better net run rate. KKR and SRH ended the league phase on 12 points each but the Hyderabad side sneaked ahead with a 0.577 net run rate against 0.028 of the Kolkata side.

Mumbai will take on Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday while Delhi Capitals -- who finished third -- take on Sunrisers in the Eliminator at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

The Qualifier 2 -- between the losing team of Qualifier 1 and winner of Eliminator -- will also be played at Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Chasing 134 for a win, MI made a good start with 46 runs coming from powerplay without losing any wicket. South African De Kock hitting two consecutive sixes and a four off Andre Russell in the fourth over was the highlight.

De Kock (30) was out off the first ball after powerplay with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik taking a brilliant catch off Prasidh Krishna. That was the only success KKR had as Rohit and Yadav took Mumbai home.

Earlier, Andre Russell failed to deliver when it mattered the most as Knight Riders scored a sub-par 133 for 7 in their do-or die game. KKR’s top run-scorer of this IPL, Russell (510 from 13 innings) was dismissed for a first ball duck as the visiting side frittered away a good start to post a modest total after being sent into bat.

Openers Chris Lynn (41 off 29 balls) and Shubman Gill (9 off 16 balls) put up 49 runs together in 6.1 overs but KKR suffered a middle-order collapse as Mumbai bowlers made a splendid comeback.

It was left to Robin Uthappa (40 off 47 balls) and Nitish Rana (26 off 13 balls) to stitch a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket to take KKR past the 120-run mark. Lasith Malinga (3/35), Hardik Pandya (2/20) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/31) were the main wicket-takers for Mumbai. Hardik, in fact, brought the home side back into the match by removing both the KKR openers in quick succession. KKR soon lost their way and with wickets tumbling, they never recovered.