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- Match 46 - 16 May, SunUp Next
15:30 IST - Kolkata
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How do you lose a game when your team needs 31 from 30 deliveries with six wickets remaining and the likes of Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik still in the dug-out? Ask Kolkata Knight Riders who suffered a stunning collapse against defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians in Chennai on Tuesday.
Chasing 153, KKR were 122/4 after the loss of in-form opener Nitish Rana (57). What followed was a dramatic reversal of fortunes with MI spin duo of Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya bringing their team back in the contest as they kept their opponents to 142/7 in 20 overs.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag has branded the performance of the former two-time IPL winners as ‘shameful’ and questioned the approach of Russell and Karthik, KKR’s two biggest finishers.
“Eoin Morgan had given a statement that they will play that way (with positive intent) after the first game but it didn’t look like that when Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came in to bat,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz. “The way Russell and Karthik batted, it felt like they planned to take the game till the end and win it. But that didn’t happen. The batters who came before them – be it Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill or Nitish Rana – all of them played with positive intent.”
MI had posted what appeared to be a below par 152- all out thanks to Russell’s maiden five-for including three in the final over of the innings. KKR continued to dominate the contest and their top-order put them in an enviable position from where MI’s defeat looked a mere formality.
However, when Rana fell off the final delivery of the 15th over, the balance of the contest shifted. Chahar was the wrecker-in-chief taking 4/27 from his four overs while Krunal too returned impressive figures of 1/13 from his quota of four overs.
Sehwag reckons KKR missed out on a golden chance to win a game where they didn’t have much to chase.
“Kolkata Knight Riders just lost the game which was almost won at one stage. When Russell came into bat, KKR needed 30 runs in 27-odd balls. Dinesh Karthik batted till the end but couldn’t win the game. That’s a shameful defeat,” he said.
“The runs per ball difference wasn’t much except for the last couple of overs. We saw how to lose a game that is almost won. You hardly get any game where you are chasing 152 and you need to score 36-odd runs in 6 overs with 6-7 wickets in hand. In such scenarios, teams prefer to end the game quickly to improve their net run rate. But KKR failed to do that and hampered their net-run rate,” he added.”
Sehwag further said either Rana or Shubman Gill should have batted till the end to ensure KKR got over the line.
Either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end. They had seen what had happened in the MI innings, despite getting off to a good start they could only manage 152,” he said.
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