Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have become the first team to secure a spot in the playoffs in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. In a gripping encounter shortened by rain, KKR triumphed over Mumbai Indians (MI) by a margin of 18 runs at their home ground, Eden Gardens. This victory marks their ninth win of the season and solidifies their standing as a formidable team this year.

The rainy evening led to a truncated match, reducing it to a 16-overs-a-side affair. Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to field, anticipating that the wet conditions would affect the game. The match began with a bang when Phil Salt blasted the first ball from Nuwan Thushara for a colossal six over long-off. However, Salt’s aggressive start was short-lived as he attempted another big hit over fine-leg and was caught in the deep later in the same over. The next over brought more woes for KKR as Sunil Narine was bowled by a full-swinging delivery from Jasprit Bumrah, reducing them to 10 for two and putting them in a precarious position early on.

Venkatesh Iyer then stepped up to the crease, embodying the adage that attack is the best form of defense. Despite the initial setbacks, Venkatesh counter-attacked with fervor. In the fourth over by Bumrah, Venkatesh first faced a potential injury scare but rebounded energetically. He scored two fours and a six in the same over, giving KKR a much-needed boost. However, Shreyas Iyer was dismissed shortly after, bowled by Anshul Kamboj around his legs. Nitish Rana, returning from an injury, joined Venkatesh, trying to stabilize the innings amidst the falling wickets.

KKR’s batting innings lacked any significant partnerships as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Nevertheless, Venkatesh’s dynamic 21-ball 42 provided momentum. He was dismissed just when he seemed poised for more, caught by Suryakumar Yadav off Piyush Chawla in the ninth over. Andre Russell further electrified the crowd by hitting his second ball for a massive six over long-on. Nitish Rana maintained the scoring pace with timely boundaries but was run-out for 33 in the 12th over, which stalled KKR’s advancement somewhat.

Despite frequent dismissals, key contributions from the middle and lower order helped KKR post a competitive total close to 160 runs. Russell chipped in with 24 off 14 balls, while Rinku Singh added 20 from 12 balls, including two sixes. An unbeaten 17 from Ramandeep Singh, featuring a six off the last ball, propelled KKR to 157 for seven.

Join Get ₹99!

. Piyush Chawla emerged as MI’s most successful bowler with figures of two for 28 from three overs. Jasprit Bumrah, reclaiming the purple cap, took two for 39 from his four overs, and Anshul Kamboj was economical with his one-for-24 from three overs.

In response, MI got off to a blistering start in the powerplay, especially due to Ishan Kishan’s explosive batting. Within the first five overs, MI raced to 59 runs, with Ishan contributing a swift 37 off just 17 balls. Harshit Rana’s fourth over was expensive, conceding 15 runs, and even Sunil Narine, who bowled the fifth over, was not spared, giving away a six and a four. MI, led by Ishan, seemed on course for a comfortable win. Rohit Sharma, too, began promisingly, hitting a six from a free-hit delivery and rotating the strike proficiently.

However, KKR’s spinners staged a remarkable comeback in the middle overs, delivering both economical spells and crucial wickets. Narine dismissed Ishan, who was caught at deep midwicket for 40 in the seventh over. Rohit Sharma soon followed, caught at short fine-leg by Narine off Varun Chakaravarthy’s bowling. By the 10th over, MI had slowed to 81 for two, hoping Suryakumar Yadav could anchor the chase. Yet, Russell extinguished those hopes by getting Suryakumar out, caught at deep square-leg in the 11th over.

KKR maintained pressure on MI with critical wickets and constant slow-downs of the run-rate. Chakaravarthy bowled a splendid spell, taking two for 17 from his four overs. Narine added another wicket from his three overs, conceding a mere 21 runs. Andre Russell further contributed with timely wickets, including dismissing Tim David for a duck, which heavily tipped the scales in favor of KKR.

Despite a valiant effort from Tilak Varma to keep MI in contention, the required run-rate escalated sharply. Naman Dhir’s aggressive batting sparked a glimmer of hope for MI as they needed 41 runs from the last two overs. However, Harshit Rana showcased his prowess in the final over, dismissing Dhir and ending Tilak’s fight to secure a win for KKR by 18 runs.

The victory was met with thunderous applause from the Eden Gardens crowd, celebrating another memorable season. KKR concluded their home matches with five wins out of seven, leaving their faithful supporters in high spirits for the upcoming playoffs.

By IPL Agent

💲Daily Check-In Free Bonus💲 💵 Sign Up & Login everyday to get free cash!💵 👉 cricket1.in