IPL 2024: Venkatesh Iyer helps KKR recover to post 157/7 against MI in rain-hit match

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Venkatesh Iyer blazed to a 21-ball 42 while Nitish Rana scored 33 on his return to the side as Kolkata Knight Riders recovered from an early loss of wickets to post a challenging 157/7 off 16 overs against Mumbai Indians in a rain-curtailed Match 60 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.

The Mumbai pacers struck early blows after skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl first, sending back Phil Salt, Sunil Narine and Shreyas Iyer cheaply. However, they could sustain the pressure as Venkatesh, Rana and Andre Russell struck breezy knocks. However, Mumbai Indians pulled things back a bit and then could manage 157/7.

Kolkata got off to a poor start but recovered from a precarious 40/3 to post a challenging total.

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya opted to bowl first to make use of the pitch that had sweated a bit as it was under the covers for a couple of days because of the rain. They got early success as Newan Thushara accounted for opener Phil Salt after the England batter had carted him for a six off the first ball. Thushara adjusted his length slowed it down a bit and Salt skied it to Anshul Kamboj at fine leg for six off five deliveries.

Jasprit Bumrah sent back the dangerous Sunil Narine for a duck off his first ball of the match, a brilliant inswinging yorker that started wide, swerved late and disturbed the stumps.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer (7) was the next to go, bowled by Anshul Kamboj for 7 off 10 balls, walking too far across even before the ball was released.

Just when it looked like Mumbai were on top and will add to their misery, Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana, scripted a minor recovery, raising 37 runs for the fourth wicket partnership.

Both of them struck some fine shots including scoring 15 off Bumrah’s second over with Venkatesh Iyer hammering two fours and a six in the fourth over, as the Mumbai Indians bowlers missed a few tricks and failed to maintain the pressure.

Venkatesh, who top scored with 70 when KKR took on MI in the reverse fixture at the Wankhede, helping the team win its first match at the Wankhede in 12 years, blasted a 21-ball 42, hitting six boundaries and two maximums before he holed out to long-off on the bowling of Piyush Chawla and Suryakumar Yadav took it around chest high.

Rana, back into the side after missing a few matches, and Andre Russell raised 39 runs for the fifth wicket partnership, scoring more freely as the Mumbai Indians bowlers bowled fuller lengths and in the range for the batters to swing their arms.

Rana, who got a lbw decision overturned on DRS as the ball was narrowly missing the stumps, hammered Hardik Pandya for a four and six off successive balls, struck Bumrah for two fours in the 12th over before eas caught short of the crease at non-striker’s end by a brilliant effort by Tilak Varma.

Russell chanced his arms as was expected of him and played a brief cameo of 14-ball 24 before holing out to Kamboj off Chawla.

Rinku Singh and Ramandeep Singh struck a couple of big shots towards the end as Mumbai Indians pulled things back a bit to restrict KKR, who were cruising towards 170-180 at one juncture, with Thushara and Bumrah bowling a couple of good overs. Rinku was out to Bumrah in the final over before Ramandeep Singh blasted a six off Bumrah’s final delivery to help them reach a commanding 157/7 in 16 overs.

Piyush Chawla was the most successful of the MI bowlers with 2-28 off three overs while Jasprit Bumrah claimed 2-39 off four.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 157/7 in 16 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 42, Nitish Rana 33; Piyush Chawla 2-28, Jasprit Bumrah 2-39) against Mumbai Indians.



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