Indian Premier League is back with a bang, as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) hammered Mumbai Indians (MI) by 41 runs in the inaugural match of seventh season of IPL at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Dubai.

In pursuit of a target of 164 runs, MI got bundled out for 7/122 in their 20 allotted overs, thus losing by 41 runs. For Mumbai Indians, Ambati Rayudu was the top scorer with 47 runs.

From the beginning of the second innings Kolkata Knight Riders, led by Morne Morkel and Sunil Narine, bowled immaculately as the defending champions struggled to get the ball beyond square.

Morne Morkel finished with 1/16, while Narine proved his worth again as the Trinidadian picked returned with figures of 4/20.

For Mumbai Indians, apart from Rayudu, Aditya Tare and Rohit Sharma were the other contributor as they scored 24 and 27 runs respectively.        

KKR have set a decent target of 164 runs for Mumbai Indians to win the inaugural match of seventh season of IPL. KKR finished their innings at 163/5 in their 20 allotted overs. Jacques Kallis was the top scorer with 72 runs off just 46 balls, smashing 5 fours and 3 sixes. Kallis found an able ally in Manish Pandey, who scored a sedate 64 runs, as the duo put on a massive 131 run partnership for the second wicket.

For Mumbai Indians, Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowler with 4/24 in his four overs. Zaheer Khan picked up the other wicket to fall in KKR innings. Anderson was expensive as he went for 11 rpo conceding 0/33 in his 3 overs.

Earlier, at the toss, to the surprise of many, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir decided to bat first on a pitch that had plenty of grass so on it, but it turned out to be the batting paradise that many T20 surfaces are in Dubai.

On the hand, Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma was unsure of how pitch would behave and was satisfied that his batsmen would have ample amount of time to get used to the conditions while fielding.

On to the team news now where there were no surprises in the playing XIs of both sides, with the Kiwi allrounder Corey Anderson getting his debut after being deemed fit enough to play. Earlier there were reports that Anderson may sit first couple of matches out.

On the other hand, KKR went in with Jacques Kallis, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al-Hasan, and Morne Morkel as their overseas players.  

Kolkata: 1 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 2 Jacques Kallis, 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Robin Uthappa (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Suryakumar Yadav, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Vinay Kumar, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Morne Morkel

Mumbai: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Michael Hussey, 3 Aditya Tare (wk), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 CM Gautam, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Corey Anderson, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Pragyan Ojha 

Brief scores:  Kolkata Knight Riders (Kallis 72, Pandey 64, Malinga 4/23) beat Mumbai Indians (Rayudu 48, Sharma 28, Narine 4/20) by 41 runs