IPL 10: Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya slog Mumbai Indians to victory against KKR

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Mumbai Indians southpaw Nitish Rana scored a brilliant 29-ball 50, to hold the innings steady at one end, while wickets toppled one after the other.

Mumbai: Hardik Pandya guided Mumbai Indians to a four-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, on Sunday.

Mumbai Indians southpaw Nitish Rana scored a brilliant 29-ball 50, to hold the innings steady at one end, while wickets toppled one after the other.

Like KKR, Mumbai also got off to a brisk start, but we’re halted after two wickets fell in quick succession.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav trapped Parthiv Patel lbw, while medium pacer Ankit Rajpoot got Jos Butter with a full length delivery.

MI captain Rohit Sharma could consider himself to be a bit unlucky, as he was also given out lbw off a Sunil Narine delivery; replays suggested that the ball had touched his bat.

However, Narine did well to set up the Indian batsman with two leg breaks, before turning one the other way.

Krunal Pandya, who had a good day with the ball, played a bit of a cameo, scoring a few runs with Pollard at the other end, but Rajpoot removed both of them, putting Mumbai under immense pressure.

Rana eased some of the pressure on the Mumbai Indians, with a few big hits in the 18th and the 19th over, but was soon dismissed by Rajpoot. It all came down to a dramatic last over, off which, Mumbai needed 11 runs.

Two mis-fields (one leading to a boundary and the other a drop catch off a Pandya shot)  gave MI the upper hand, as they raced to victory with one ball remaining.

Easlier, KKR got off to a flying start with last match’s heroes Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn continuing from where they left off in the match against the Gujarat Lions.

In fact, the visitors looked set for a big total at the Wankhede Stadium, when Jasprit Bumrah was hit for 15 runs in the 3rd over.

However, it was the introduction of left arm spinner Krunal Pandya, that really turned the momentum of the game on its head. Gambhir mis-timed his shot straight to Mitchell McClenaghan.

Krunal struck a one-two blow for KKR, when Robin Uthappa top-edged a sweep. Krunal’s brother Hardik Pandya was in the right position to offer his safe pair of hands, to catch the ball.

The two Krunal Pandya wickets stemmed the flow of runs, as Bumrah jumped in, to remove Chris Lynn with a beautiful in-swinger.

Krunal rounded off a brilliant day on the field, with a third wicket, when he removed the dangerous Yusuf Pathan from the equation. The 34-year-old danced down the track and smacked hard at the ball, but ended up edging it to the other half of the Pandya brothers in the deep.

The 26-year-old spinner ended with brilliant figures of 3-24 from his quota of four overs.

This middle over collapse meant that KKR took as long as 13.2 overs to get to their 100 run mark.

However, KKR batsman Manish Pandey picked up the pace as soon as Bumrah was introduced back into the attack in the 16th over, as he hit a six and a four off the Indian bowler’s consecutive deliveries.

While Malinga cleaned off Chris Woakes and Suryakumar Yadav at one end, Pandey continued the big hitting on the other side. The 27-year-old struck a 37-run 50, to stabilise the KKR innings.

However, it was the last over, when Pandey actually came to life, as he struck two 6s and two 4s off McClenaghan’s bowling. The New Zealander also bowled a no ball and a wide, to complicate matters, as KKR struck 23 runs in the last over, taking their total to a competitive 178-7.

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