Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener continued from where he left off in the previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as he raced to his maiden IPL fifty during the ongoing second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
He registered a score of 53 runs off only 30 balls against a strong Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling line-up, something which garnered praise from former cricketers like Irfan Pathan and Matthew Hayden.
Venkatesh Iyer Showed A Lot Of Character: Irfan Pathan
Speaking on Star Sports’ post-match show, Irfan Pathan stressed the fact that Venkatesh Iyer didn’t sit on his laurels against RCB and played with the same mindset and turned up again against Jasprit Bumrah and company consisting of pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne and spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar.
“The first match, he showed a lot of character. He showed some of the shots as well, cover drive and all. But there is always this question in your mind as a young player, what is going to happen in the next match. Who is going to turn up? Is it the same guy who is going to turn up?” he said.
Irfan Pathan also lauded the character shown by Venkatesh Iyer while tackling the likes of world-class pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
“He did, he actually turned up better, especially against Bumrah, against Boult. Against the Mumbai Indians bowling line-up, he showed a lot of character. There is a lot more we are going to see of Venkatesh Iyer in the future,” he explained.
Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of unbeaten 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday to register their second consecutive victory in their first two matches at UAE.
Before thrashing the MI by seven wickets and nearly five overs to spare while chasing 156, KKR had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets after bowling Virat Kohli’s team out for 92. KKR is now fourth in the IPL 2021 table and is firmly in the race for a top-four finish.
In their previous match, the Eoin Morgan-led KKR side chased down the 93 runs target in just ten overs as KKR openers Shubman Gill (48) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out) ensured KKR to cruise to a 9 wicket win.
Venkatesh Iyer Impressed Matthew Hayden
Venkatesh Iyer also impressed former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden.
“He got permission from his mother to play cricket. Wonderful stuff because let’s face it, fellas, we are all mummy’s boys at some point,” Hayden said.
Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs but the failure of middle-order batsmen especially Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan hurt their chances to win. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the fifth position. KKR next face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 26.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33; Lockie Ferguson 2-27) vs KKR 159/3 (Rahul Tripathi 74*, Venkatesh Iyer 53, Jasprit Bumrah 3-43).