Pat Cummins came out at bat when the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lost their ‘run-machine’ Andre Russell, early in the 14th and still needed 61 of 41 balls to overturn the 161 score of the first inning Indians from Mumbai (MI). /4 at MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday 6 April.
Cummins (56* on 15 balls) came out and hit consecutive boundaries against Tymal Mills and Jasprit Bumrah before unleashing hell on compatriot Daniel Sams in the 16th.
He showed no mercy hitting 6, 4, 6 and 6 on Sams first 4 balls. A shaken Sam then sent a high, full throw that Cummins pushed to long where Suryakumar Yadav took an excellent boundary hold, sending the ball back into the ground before regaining his composure to complete the hold.
However, the umpire correctly signaled a no-ball for height, leaving Cummins at bat on 46-for-13 balls. The Aussie then fired the slower delivery through the midwicket for four runs to elevate his half. century with just 14 balls, tying KL Rahul’s record for the fastest fifty IPLs set in 2018.
Cummins was not yet finished, however, as he sent the final delivery over the bowler’s head, taking a total of 35 points to wrap up the victory in style and condemn the five-time champions MI to their third defeat on the trot.
The Aussie’s innings looked ridiculously easy compared to the struggles faced by other hitters from the box. Venkatesh Iyer scored an unbeaten 50 from 41 balls to start his tournament and anchored the sets impressively on the other side.
KKR’s chase got off to an unceremonious start as Ajinkya Rahane (7) started 5th as he looked for a shot against Tymal Mills. Shreyas Iyer (10) then came out and hit a few boundaries but was sent back to the next class when he missed a shot against Sams.
Billings (17) and Rana (8) left in quick succession, both falling to spinner Murugan Ashwin (2/25) and Andre Russell (11) hitting a few limits against Bumrah before falling on the 1st ball of 14 against Mills. (2/38) and hand over the reins to Cummins to lead Kolkata to what still looked like an unlikely victory at this stage.
At the start of the match, Shreyas Iyer won the Toss and opted to bowl. Both teams made two changes as Cummins and Rasikh Salam came on for KKR while Suryakumar and youngster Dewald Brevis were brought into the playing XI for Mumbai.
Umesh Yadav continued his wicket-taking form inside the power play as he struck in 3rd to dismiss Rohit Sharma (3) who cut a short delivery deep behind for the keeper to collect.
18-year-old Dewald Brevis then made his IPL debut and the young South African was quick to show why he earned the nickname ‘Baby AB’. Brevis slammed Salam, who was making his KKR debut, for a four on the 2nd delivery he faced and followed it up with a limit against Umesh before smashing Cummins for a six to run 21-for-12.
Brevis connected with another powerful sweep to drop Varun Chakravarthy’s first delivery over the fence in the 8th, but the spinner had the last laugh. Chakravarthy sent a much slower delivery and Brevis (29 from 19 balls) charged but was beaten with Billings whipping the bails in a flash.
Ishan Kishan (14 from 21 balls) who has been in fine form this season, struggled to get started and was eventually sacked by Cummins in 11th to leave MI in trouble at 55/3.
Suryakumar Yadav, playing his first game of the season after returning from injury, and Tilak Varma then assembled a partnership of 83 runs on just 49 balls to help Mumbai recover. Both hitters went hammer and tongs against KKR bowling and Suryakumar marked his comeback with a half century on just 34 balls.
Suryakumar (52 on 36 balls) was fired by Cummins (2/49) in the final but Kieron Pollard came out and crushed an unbeaten 22 on just 5 deliveries and alongside Tilak Varma (38* on 27 balls) helped Mumbai display a challenge. total of 161/4.