Kollata: Kolkata Knight Riders ended their IPL campaign on a high note, beating table-toppers Mumbai Indians by a convincing nine-wicket margin in the dead rubber at Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Already out of the semifinal reckoning, the hosts put up a splendid all round show and finished in the sixth position with 14 points behind Delhi Daredevils.
KKR Captain Sourav Ganguly plays a shot during IPL Match at Eden Garden in Kolkata on Monday . Ashoke Bhaumik / PTI
Delhi also ended with 14 points but due to their better run-rate (+0.02) they finished one place above Kolkata (-0.34).
Exploiting the slow track, Kolkata restricted the new-look Mumbai Indians to 133 for eight and then overhauled the target with 2.3 overs to spare with Brendon McCullum (57 not out) and Sourav Ganguly (42) playing good knocks at top.
It is for the first time in their last six clashes that Kolkata have defeated Mumbai Indians.
Saurabh Tiwary’s sensible 37-ball 46 was cornerstone of Mumbai’s total as they made wholesome changes to their side, fielding five new players.
Murali Kartik (2/20) and Shane Bond (2/24) set up the win for Kolkata by their brilliant effort as they restricted Mumbai to their lowest score in this season.
Chasing a modest total, and playing under no pressure, McCullum and skipper Ganguly threw their bat at each and everything and produced the one of the best opening stands for their side in this season.
They rattled up 97 in 13.5 overs to lay the foundation for an easy win.
Ganguly’s 36-ball knock had four fours and two sixes and McCullum’s 56 ball innings was studded with eight fours.
Ganguly began the scoring by hammering a big six off spinner Ali and McCullum played some really exquisite drives off Ryan McLaren and Dilhara Fernando.
The Sri Lankan paceman was punished by Ganguly too as he was hit for a six and four by the former Indian captain.
Dwayne Bravo, who led the side as Sachin Tendulkar opted to rest, produced a chance to break the partnership but McLaren grassed Ganguly’s catch when he was on 22.
At half-way mark, Kolkata were comfortably placed at 72 for no loss but the partnership ended soon with the dismissal of Ganguly.
The local southpaw miscued one shot off R Satish and the ball landed in the hands of Bravo, who nearly messed it up with McLaren.
McCullum and David Hussey (20) then guided the team home comfortably.