Bowling all-rounder Pat Cummins hammered an unbeaten 36-ball 53 to lift Kolkata Knight Riders from a precarious situation to a respectable-looking 148 for 5 against Mumbai Indians in their Dream11 Indian Premier League match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Opting to bat, the front-line batsmen of Kolkata Knight Riders completely flopped. However, after a top-order failure, it was Cummins (53 not out: 36 balls, 5×4, 2×6) and new skipper Eoin Morgan (39 not out: 29 balls, 2×4; 2×6) resuced their side. The left-right combination of Morgan and Cummings conjured 87 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket to somewhat pull the team out of big trouble.
The decision to make first use of the wicket by new skipper Morgan backfired. Kolkata Knight Riders lost opener Rahul Tripathi (7) early. The Pune-based cricketer was dismissed by an acrobatic catch by Suryakumar Yadav at point off Trent Boult.
Nitish Rana (5) departed cheaply as KKR were poorly placed at 33 for 2. Rana was caught by wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar struck twice in the eight over as he removed the in-form opener Shubham Gill (21) and former skipper Dinesh Karthik (4) off successive balls to reduce KKR to 42 for 4.
Two-time former champions KKR lost half of their side for 61 as Andre Russell departed for 12.
Cummins smashed Nathan Coulter-Nile for two fours and a six in the 13th over, which fetched KKR 16 runs and then made optimum use of a life he got.
Cummins and Morgan added 53 in the last five overs. The duo was particularly brutal against Coulter-Nile, who conceded 51 in his 4 overs.
Mumbai Indians are on a four-game unbeaten run, with excellent performances through thick and thin. KKR on the other hand, crashed to a big defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous league match.
After the humiliating loss against RCB, regular skipper Dinesh Karthik opted to hand the captain’s role to England’s Eoin Morgan, who led his country to a triumph in the 2019 ODI World Cup.
KKR have included Chris Green and Shivam Mavi in the lineup, with Tom Banton and Kamlesh Nagarkoti benched. Nathan Coulter Nile has been handed an opportunity by MI, in place of James Pattinson.
Kolkata Knight Riders 148 for 5 in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 53 not out, Eoin Morgan 39 not out, Shubman Gill 21, Andre Russel 12; Rahul Chahar 2-18, Jasprit Bumrah 1-22, Trent Boult 1-32, Nathan Coulter-Nile 1-51) vs Mumbai Indians.