Felix Austin | cricket20
The Kolkata Knight Riders put the disappointment of missing out on a place in the IPL semi finals behind them with a commanding performance to beat the Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in the final group game of this years Indian Premier League.
With the Knight Riders needing to beat the Indians by 175 runs to stand any chance of reaching the knock out stages of the IPL their faint hopes were ended when stand in skipper Dwayne Bravo won the toss and decided to bat.
The game was now meaningless but the Knight Riders got of to the better start with Kiwi fast bowler Shane Bond taking to early wickets to restrict the Indians openers.
Aditya Tare (1) was the first of Bonds victims after he was caught by Murali Kartik who came running in from cover to take the catch.
Shikhar Dhawa soon followed in Bond’s next over after he was caught by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha to leave the Indians 14-2 after just three overs.
The Indians, who’ll play the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first semi final on Wednesday, mounted a fight back thanks to an excellent partnership of 63 between Saurabh Tiwary and JP Duminy.
The partnership took the pressure of the Indians but Tiwary (46) and Duminy (19) were dismissed in the space of 3 balls to leave the 77-4.
Bravo (5) soon followed after an innings of just 9 balls after he was stumped by Saha to give Kartik his second wicket of the innings.
Rajagopal Sathish and Ambati Rayudu enyjoed a rapid partner of 22 from just 12 balls before Manoj Tiwary struck to claim his first IPL wicket dismissing Sathish (11) who was caught by Kartik out in the boundary.
Stuart Binny and Ambati Rayudu tried to see out saw out the final two overs but Binny (8) was caught by Sourav Ganguly as Ashok Dinda claimed his first wicket of the night.
After opening the batting for the Indians at the weekend Ryan McLaren came out to face the final 5 balls to help the Indians set the Knight Riders as target of 134.
Although the Indians found it hard batting on a sluggish wicket which was being used for the fifth match in a row at Eden Gardens the Knight Riders made light work of the run chase with Brendan McCullum and Ganguly enjoying a first wicket partnership of 97.
With the pair cruising towards victory Ganguly was dismissed 8 runs short of his fourth half century in this years tournament after he was caught by Bravo to give Rajagopal Sathishthe breakthrough.
Having been joined by David Hussey at the crease McCullum recorded a well deserved half century as the pair steered the Knight Riders to victory in the IPL’s final group game of the tournament.
The victory allowed the Knight Riders to pass their record points total of 13 which they set in the inaugural IPL and doubled their points total of 7 from last years tournament in South Africa.