Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya made key contributions for Mumbai Indian to see them overcome Kolkata Knight Riders in a nail-biting finish. Mumbai were facing a stiff situation but Hardik Pandya’s cameo of 29 runs meant that the side snatched an improbable win from the hands of a possible defeat against Knight Riders.
He smashed three fours and two sixes to help Mumbai upstage Kolkata in the seventh game of the Indian Premier League played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The hosts had to dig deep to attain this win as Opener Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler got them off to a great start as they put on 65 runs in space of 7 overs. The departure of both openers and Rohit Sharma saw Knight Riders put a lid on the rate of scoring as Mumbai slumped to 119 for 5 with Kieron Pollard also back in the hut. In middle of all the twists and turns, Nitish Rana stood tall as he batted well and crafted a well-timed half century to keep Mumbai in the hunt to chase down the score. He scored 50 runs off 29 balls and struck three sixes in his innings. He took the attack to left arm seamer Trent Boult who conceded 19 runs in a over to see Mumbai back in contention to win the game.
Nitish Rana went on the charge as he smoked a six and four off the bowling of Rajpoot in the 18th over to bring the equation down to just 11 runs off the last over. Hardik Pandya sealed a famous win for Mumbai as crucial mistakes in the field cost Kolkata Knight Riders big time as they will lament on the fact they were poised to win the game till the 17th over.
Earlier in the day, Manish Pandey played superbly well for his unbeaten 81 runs to take Kolkata to a competitive score of 178 runs off 20 overs. Pandey anchored the whole innings and smashed five sixes in his innings. Chris Lynn also scored a brisk 32 runs off 24 balls at the top of the order. Krunal Pandya took three wickets in the innings and was pick among Mumbai bowlers.
Mumbai Indians will be buoyed by this incredible heist over Kolkata Knight as the franchise will be hoping that Rohit Sharma gets back to prime form to increase their chances of winning the competition for a record-third time.