Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders picked up their second successive win of the rearranged Indian Premier League to boost their play-off hopes and dent those of holders Mumbai Indians.
KKR chased 156 in 15.1 overs with Rahul Tripathi making 74 off 52 balls and Venkatesh Iyer a 30-ball 53 on just his second IPL appearance.
Earlier Mumbai made 155-6, with Quinton de Kock making 55 and Rohit Sharma 33.
The win takes KKR to fourth – the final play-off spot – while Mumbai are fifth.
The IPL resumed in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday after the competition was postponed in May amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India.
Iyer impresses again for KKR
If ever you needed confirmation that KKR were led by England captain Morgan, Shubman Gill and Iyer both getting off the mark with a six is a pretty good indicator.
Morgan has instilled a fearlessness at the heart of England’s white-ball cricket and he is doing the same at KKR.
That courage is evident in Iyer. Despite being 26 he is a novice in IPL terms, but he showed the maturity and brains – he was enrolled to do an accounting degree before focusing on a business one alongside cricket – to attack the bad balls and rotate the strike from the good balls.
He pulled and flicked over the leg-side boundary, and drove through the covers and down the ground, to show the ability to hit through 360 degrees that all the best modern-day players possess.
The left hander fell with KKR needing 28 off 50 balls, but he had hit his side into a winning position long before.
Before KKR batted their coach Brendon McCullum said Iyer “could be the type to get a hundred, and then get out for nought and nought”. Can he again get among the runs in KKR’s next game against Chennai on Sunday?
Match-up works before Ferguson shines
At the end of the six-over powerplay Mumbai were 56-0 and Rohit and De Kock – two of the most explosive batters in the world – were both well set and a big total seemed on the cards.
Rohit, who was returning to the side after recovering from a hamstring injury, became the first man to score 1,000 runs against a single franchise in the IPL, before he holed out to long-on off West Indies’ Sunil Narine.
It was a match-up that was discussed during the powerplay – with KKR starting with four overs of spin – and it eventually worked with Narine now having dismissed Rohit nine times in Twenty20 cricket.
That wicket in the 10th over left Mumbai 80-1 at the halfway point and from there KKR were able to squeeze.
Spin was difficult to play – costing just 47 from nine overs – but Morgan had used his main options by the end of the 12th over, and there was a fear Mumbai would capitalise on the pace bowlers at the end.
There were signs of that, with the 18th over costing 18, but the final 10 overs eventually delivered 75 runs and five wickets, and laid a platform for KKR to win the game.
New Zealand’s Ferguson was the main man – changing his pace effectively and ranging from 90.7mph to 75.2mph in the final over.
His line and length, alongside the change-ups, made him difficult to get away, resulting in the run out of Kieron Pollard and the wicket of Krunal Pandya in the final over, which went for just six runs.