Venkatesh Iyer maiden IPL ton in vain as MI prevail

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Indian Premier League 2023

Mumbai Indians made it two wins in a row as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 22 of TATA IPL 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Ishan Kishan’s blistering knock of 58(25) coupled with supporting knocks from Suryakumar Yadav(43 off 25) and Tilak Varma (30 off 25) helped dominant MI beat KKR by five wickets after their bowlers had bounced back hard in the second half of the first innings to restrict KKR to 185/6 following a superb maiden century by Venkatesh Iyer (104 off 51).

Chasing 186, Ishan Kishan got off to a flier as he cracked a couple of fours and a six over the off side, off the second over from Shardul Thakur. He then went after Umesh hammering a four and a six and in between, Impact Player Rohit Sharma then got into the groove smacking a six over long off as the duo accumulated 17 off the third over.

Nitish Rana introduced spin early, bringing on Sunil Narine in the fourth over, but Rohit and Kishan went after him as they hammered 22 off the over with Kishan hitting two sixes and a four and Rohit hitting a four.

Rohit welcomed Suyash Sharma into the attack with a six over deep square leg; the young leg-spinner however bounced back to dismiss Rohit (20 off 13) as he was brilliantly caught by Umesh Yadav at mid off. Suryakumar Yadav got off the mark with a four, off Varun Chakravarthy as MI reached 72/1 at the end of the Powerplay.

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Kishan then brought up his fifty off 21 balls. He then looked to take on Varun Chakravarthy and hit him for a six over deep mid-wicket. The wily spinner though hit back to dismiss the dangerman as he had Kishan drag one onto the stumps on 58(25).

Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma carried forward the momentum and brought up MI’s 100 as the home team reached 110/2 at the halfway mark.

Suryakumar Yadav took on Lockie Ferguson and unleashed a couple of sixes to take 13 off the over. He went from strength to strength, cracking a six and a four off Russell as MI amassed 17 from the over to bring the equation down to 39 needed off 42 balls.

Suyash then bowled a brilliant over, giving away just one run, and broke the 60-run stand as he made Tilak Varma (30 off 25) chop one onto the stumps.

With 38 needed off 36, Tim David hammered a couple of sixes off Chakravarthy to bring the equation down to 23 off 30. Suryakumar Yadav and Tim David hit a couple of fours before Ferguson had Suryakumar caught behind for 43(25) but the MI batter had done his job, bringing the equation down to 10 needed off 21.

With 2 needed off 17, MI lost Nehal Wadhera, caught behind off Ferguson but David hit the finishing run with 14 deliveries to spare. David remained unbeaten on 24 off 13.

Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav, who was leading Mumbai Indians in place of Rohit Sharma who was suffering from a stomach bug, won the toss and elected to bowl. Rohit though was named in the substitutes. Arjun Tendulkar and Duan Jansen were handed their debuts. The home team made three changes to the starting XI as Arjun Tendulkar, Duan Jansen and Tim David replaced Rohit Sharma, Arshad Khan and Jason Behrendorff. They named Rohit Sharma, Ramandeep Singh, Arshad Khan, Vishnu Vinod and Kumar Karthikeya

KKR, on the other hand, made one change as Venkatesh Iyer replaced Suyash Sharma. They named Mandeep Singh, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Vaibhav Arora and David Wiese as their substitutes.

Debutant Arjun Tendulkar bowled the first over of the innings and he got a hint of swing as he looked to bring the ball into the right-handed batters. He started off well, giving away just five runs. There was an LBW shout turned down against N Jagadeesan and MI didn’t opt to review. It was a good decision as replays showed it was going over the stumps.

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Cameron Green too started off well and he got the first breakthrough as he had Jagadeesan caught brilliantly at Point by Hrithik Shokeen. The MI youngster dived forward and took a very good low catch.

Venkatesh Iyer then broke the shackles as he punched one through covers for a four and charged down the wicket next ball and lofted it over long off for a six, off Arjun Tendulkar. He slashed one over short third man for the second six of the innings, off Green in the next over and then got an inside edge to fine leg for a four. In between he hurt his leg looking to scoop and had difficulty running between the wickets. He was however dealing in sixes as he cracked a couple of maximums, off debutant Duan Jansan to accumulate 16 off the over.

Suryakumar Yadav then called up Piyush Chawla to bowl the final over of the Powerplay and he obliged his captain with a wicket, having Rahmanullah Gurbaz caught at short third man. Chawla bowled a brilliant over and gave away just two as KKR reached 57/2 at the end of the Powerplay.

Spin brought another wicket as Nitsh Rana mistimed his loft straight to the long on fielder in the 9th over. Shokeen could have had two in two but Ishan Kishan missed a stumping of Shardul Thakur, who came in to bat at 5, off the next ball to give him a lifeline.

Venkatesh Iyer then brought up his fifty off 23 balls via a four to fine leg off an inside edge, off Shokeen and a ball later, hit a thumping six over deep square leg, off the middle of the bat. Chawla bowled another good over and gave away just six as KKR reached 90/3 at the end of 10th over.

Iyer, who was doing all the heavy lifting, then took on Riley Meredith and hit him for a couple of sixes to take 14 off the 11th over. He added one more to his tally, flicking one over deep square leg for a maximum. Shardul Thakur then trickled one to fine leg for a four a ball later, it was the first boundary hit by someone apart from Venkatesh Iyer.

Shokeen broke the 50-run stand by having Shardul Thakur caught at deep mid-wicket to dent KKR. Iyer moved into the nineties with another six off Meredith. Shokeen then finished off a fine spell of 4-0-34-2, giving away just five runs in his last over. Chawla too finished off a brilliant spell of 4-0-19-2, conceding just six off his last over as things slowed down.

Iyer then brought up his maiden IPL hundred, off 49 balls with a single, off Jansen. It was the first century by a KKR batter since Brendon McCullum’s magnificent 158* vs RCB in the IPL opener in 2008.

After a fortuitous outside edge four, Iyer tried to reverse scoop one off Meredith but ended up mistiming it straight to short third man. He walked off for a brilliant 104 off 51 balls. Meredith gave away just five in the 18th over as MI kept things tight. Andre Russell got into his zone hitting a four and a six but Rinku Singh (18 off 18), who couldn’t get sustained momentum, departed in the penultimate over from Jansen.

Russell hit a couple of fours in the final over bowled by Meredith but overall, MI finished off really well as they conceded 50/2 off the last six overs and restrict KKR to 185/6. Russell remained unbeaten on 21 (11).

Rohit Sharma walked out to open the batting as MI’s Impact Player while KKR introduced Suyash Sharma as their Impact player, replacing the centurion Iyer.