Brian Lara highlighted that the Kolkata Knight Riders team failed to adapt to the conditions in Chepauk as they imploded in a chase of an average total of 152 against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. KKR went from 104 for 3 to 142 for 7, losing the encounter by 10 runs.
Batting great Brian Lara expressed surprise at KKR’s approach in the middle-overs during their failed chase of a 153-run target against Mumbai Indians in Match 5 of Indian Premier League 2021 in Chennai on Tuesday.
Brian Lara: KKR Had To Play Sensible Cricket But Played Carelessly
Brian Lara said all Kolkata Knight Riders needed after a solid start from their openers (Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill) in the chase was a bit of “sensible cricket” but that the former champions paid the price for some careless cricket from their middle-order batsmen, including experienced players.
KKR were cruising at 103 for 3 in the 13th over and needed a little over run-a-ball from there to clinch their second successive win of the IPL 2021 season. With a well-set Nitish Rana and captain Eoin Morgan in the middle, KKR looked on course to complete the chase without any major hiccups.
However, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar ran through the KKR batting order, removing both Nitish Rana and Eoin Morgan after he dismissed opener Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi, who came in at No. 4.
It was surprising to see Eoin Morgan trying to attack the in-form spinner who was difficult to handle. Nitish Rana threw away his wicket while trying to step down and attack Rahul Chahar off the last delivery of his spell.
Once again KKR left-hander, Shakib Al Hasan, fell to a spinner who turned the ball into him as he holed out at deep mid-wicket against Krunal Pandya. The two Mumbai Indian spinners picked up 5 wickets between them while conceding just 40 runs in 8 overs.
“Mumbai Indians won it because they had the right bowlers at the right time,” Brian Lara told Star Sports.
“The pressure piled on. It’s a slow track. It’s not a track where you can walk in and play your shots. You have got to take your time. A 145 is the average score in Chepauk. You have got to take that into consideration,” Brian Lara said.
“You can’t be like ‘okay, we got a good start, let’s just steamroll this opposition’. You have got to play sensible cricket. You have got to see which bowlers are potent on this track and the spinners are.
“The leg-spinner getting left-handers out, that’s not normal. That’s supposed to be the right match-up for a batsman. But he got them all out because they played carelessly.”
MI continued to mount pressure on KKR as Krunal Pandya then got the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, who was caught in the deep by Suryakumar Yadav in the 16th over. Krunal Pandya, to his credit, conceded just three runs in the 18th over, exerting pressure on KKR apart from 2 missed chances of Andre Russell.
Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled the penultimate over, then brought his wealth of experience in bowling the death overs into play and denied the duo of Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik a chance to open their shoulders, giving away just 4 runs.
With 15 runs to defend, Trent Boult was given the responsibility to bowl the final over against the likes of Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik and he delivered for the team, cleverly varying his pace as he scalped two wickets, including that of Andre Russell which helped MI seal a stunning 10-run win.
Brian Lara: Mumbai Indians Played Smart Cricket And Should Be Credited For Win
Biran Lara credited Rohit Sharma and his men for sticking to their bowling plans and taking the game down to the wire, saying it would have been a commendable effort from the 5-time champions even if they had lost the match towards the end.
Notably, captain Rohit Sharma brought himself on to bowl an over and nearly got the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan after overcoming a twisted ankle scare.
“Even Rohit’s over. He bowled an over where he got an under-edge. They played smart cricket. If even they had lost at the end, they played the best they could. Credit must be given to Mumbai for going out there and putting that plan together and taking it right down to the end,” Brian Lara added.
Having completed a hard-fought win, Mumbai Indians will be upbeat when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on April 17.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 152 all out (Suryakumar Yadav 56, Rohit Sharma 43, Andre Russell 5/15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142/7 (Nitish Rana 57, Shubman Gill 33, Rahul Chahar 4/27) by 10 runs