Mumbai: Mumbai Indians inched closer to the second successive title clash as they knocked Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by handing them a four-wicket defeat in a thrilling Eliminator match here on Wednesday.
Mumbai will now lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday in the qualifier-II, the winner of which will take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash on Saturday.
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The victory was set up by the Mumbai bowlers, who exploited the slow Wankhede track well and put their side in the driver’s seat by restricting Kolkata to 147 for seven.
Mumbai Indians pacer Munaf Patel exults after dismissing S. Goswami of Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai. PTI Photo
Munaf Patel (3/27) was the most successful bowler while Lasith Malinga was, as usual, the most economical, giving away just 19 runs apart from taking one wicket.
The hosts then overcame a few hiccups to achieve the target with four balls to spare as they lost some quick wickets after openers Sachin Tendulkar (36) and Aiden Blizzard (51) had scored a quick 81 runs.
By virtue of this win, Mumbai have also qualified for the next Champions League.
Rohit Sharma (0), Ambati Rayudu (12) and Kieron Pollard (3) fell early but James Franklin, who had scripted Mumbai win in the last outing against the same opponent, yet again played sensibly to ensure that KKR do not upset them.
Left-handed Franklin scored an unbeaten 29 off 25.
Had it not been the heroics of Dutch batsman Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored an unbeaten 70 under pressure, Kolkata would not managed to reach close to 150-run mark.
Kolkata were reeling at 20 for four after six overs but a dogged Doeschate resurrected their innings with his fighting knock which came off 49 balls and had nine boundaries, including three sixes.