Mumbai Indians booked a date with Bangalore Royal Challengers in the second IPL Qualifier – and qualified for the Champions League – after beating Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets on Wednesday.
Although the Knight Riders fought hard to defend a low total of 147 for seven with Jacques Kallis taking two wickets, Mumbai never looked overly troubled after their opening stand had put on 81 in eight overs.
Aiden Blizzard was selected in the hope that he could provide the spark Mumbai had been missing at the top of the order, and the Australian delivered with a 30-ball 51 to complement captain Sachin Tendulkar’s breezy 36.
Blizzard was eventually set up as he hit a Brett Lee delivery straight to deep point, and when Tendulkar top-edged Kallis to point three overs later Mumbai threatened to throw away their superb start.
However as the wickets went down, Mumbai’s hero from Sunday night James Franklin (29 not out) kept his cool and saw Harbhajan Singh slog six over midwicket to clinch the game with four balls to spare.
Earlier an unbeaten half-century from Ryan ten Doeschate had kept Kolkata in the running after Munaf Patel’s three wickets had put Mumbai in firm control.
The Dutchman finished with 70 not out from 49 balls to guide Kolkata to 147 for seven, a respectable score given that they were reduced to 20 for four early on.
Munaf’s three-for included the big wickets of Kallis and Yusuf Pathan, while Harbhajan dismissed India counterpart Gautam Gambhir after the Kolkata captain was passed fit to play and opened the batting alongside Kallis.
A 60-run partnership between Pathan (26) and ten Doeschate revived the innings, but the bouncer did for Pathan as he holed out to long-on just as he looked to be getting into his stride.
Shakib Al Hasan hit a streaky 26, edging several balls to the boundary in a 16-ball innings before he was undone by a slower ball from Lasith Malinga, who finished with the best economy rate of Mumbai’s bowlers. Cricket365