In the final league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 edition, Mumbai Indians (MI) delivered a smashing knockout punch to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with a resounding 9-wicket victory at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The MI bowlers displayed brilliant combined performance to restrict the opposition under a below-par first innings total.
In the second innings, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma led the home team from the front and played a responsible innings to steer MI to an emphatic victory. The skipper also got great support from Suryakumar Yadav in the run-chase. With this win, the Rohit Sharma-led team has advanced to the top spot on the points tally and they will now face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Qualifier 1 on May 7.
After the game, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene mentioned that they became predictable in the last match against KKR and thus, they did not wanted to do the same . “We didn’t want to be predictable. I thought we were bit predictable in Kolkata and in that scenario they batted well. So, we wanted to make sure that we don’t give them that familiarity and try and create opportunity to take wickets,” quoted Mahela Jayawardene during the post-match press conference.
The two KKR openers, Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill started things pretty tentatively, managing just five runs after the first two overs. However, the latter then started increasing the scoring rate by hitting some quick runs, which also helped KKR post a total of 49 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. But then, MI all-rounder Hardik Pandya delivered a fabulous opening spell to remove both the KKR openers off successive overs.
Krunal Pandya also returned with effective figures, giving just 14 runs in his quota of four overs. Veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga was the star performer in the game, picking three crucial wickets including the prized scalp of Andre Russell.
“We didn’t get wickets (initially) but Hardik came and picked up those wickets and I thought Krunal (Pandya) bowled brilliantly to keep the pressure on and it was a good combination,” Jayawardene added.
“Then Mali (Malinga) with his experience, coming back and picking couple of wickets, we just didn’t give them loose balls this time around and that’s what a quality attack can do,” he concluded.