Home Sports Knight Riders coast to nine-wicket win to end IPL-3 campaign

Knight Riders coast to nine-wicket win to end IPL-3 campaign


Kolkata : Pushed out of the semi final contest, Kolkata Knight Riders produced their best performance at the ongoing Indian Premier League to romp to a 9-wicket victory over table toppers Mumbai Indians here Monday.

After restricting the Mumbai Indians to a modest 133/8, the hosts batted admirably well on a sluggish Eden Gardens track to coast to victory as they reached 135/1 with 15 balls to spare.

Sourav Ganguly, the top scorer for the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise in the tournament, struck 42 (36 b, 4×4, 2×6) and stitched together a 97-run opening wicket stand with Brendon McCullum (57 not out, 56 b, 8×4) to pave the way for a big win for his side.

David Hussey remained not out with 20 (14 b, 1×4, 1×6) as the Knight Riders wrapped up their league engagements at the sixth slot with 12 points, the same as Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils, but were behind the three sides in the table on net run rate.

Mumbai Indians finished their round-robin fixtures collecting a whopping 20 points. They will now take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi final at the Dr D.Y. Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai April 21.

The in-form Ganguly began the Knights’ run chase with a bang by pulling Ali Murtaza for six over midwicket. Sometime later, the former Indian captain spanked Dilhara Fernando out of the ground over mid off as the Knights were on course to their most convincing win of the league, where they are the only side to have never reached the last four.

Ganguly, who seemed to be in command, however was the only wicket to fall, as he tried to lift into the stand a slower one from Rajagopal Satish and Dwayne Bravo took a fine catch at extra cover after nearly colliding with Ryan McLaren.

Hussey and McCullum saw their side to victory without any more damage, and the New Zealander got the winning runs with a pulled boundary off Jean-Paul Duminy before a sizeable crowd in the stands.

Mumbai Indians, having romped into the semi finals, decided to rest five of their regular players including skipper Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Bravo was the stand-in skipper.

The match became only of academic interest as soon as Bravo won the toss, as the Knights needed to beat Mumbai Indians by a 175-run margin to make the last four on run rate.

With the slow Eden Gardens track making run scoring difficult, the second stringers of the visitors were at odds against some good stuff sent down by the likes of Knight Riders pacer Shane Bond (2/24) and his opening ball partner Ashok Dinda (0/20).

Bond saw the back of Aditya Tare (1) and Shikhar Dhawan (10) early before Saurabh Tiwary (46 of 37 balls) and Jean-Paul Duminy (19) added 63 for the third wicket to repair the damage.

But just as it seemed that the Mumbai Indians had got the perfect launch pad for a late assault, wickets started tumbling and Duminy, Tiwary and Bravo were soon back to the pavilion. The Mumbai Indians were then 89/5.

Ambatti Rayudu (27 of 15 balls), however, played a cameo as the Mumbai Indians managed their modest total.