KKR vs MI: Russell's Fifer, Rana's Fifty Go in Vain as KKR Succumb in Death Overs

Nitish Rana's valiant 57 and Andre Russell's maiden T20 fifer went in vain as KKR lost the plot from a comfortable position to go down by 10 runs against Mumbai Indians in their second match of IPL 2021 at Chennai.

KKR were in cruise control until the last five overs where they needed just 31 runs from 30 balls. Russell, who received two lifelines, and Dinesh Karthik tried to push the team over the line but some terrific death bowling from Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult choked the Men in Purple & Gold. Rahul Chahar also pitched in with a brilliant 4-27, which was instrumental in systematically breaking KKR down.

Set to chase 153 runs for a win, KKR looked to be on the hunt as long as Rana and Shubman Gill (33 off 24) were at the crease. The target looked well achievable until they got out. Other than the duo, no other KKR batsman could reach the double figures.  

Mumbai Indians, earlier, started off strongly with a smashing half-century from Suryakumar Yadav (56 off 36) and a solid 43 (off 32 balls) from Rohit Sharma. But once Yadav was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan, the rest of the batters fell like a house of cards, leaving Rohit struggling at the other end.

Mumbai lost 7 wickets for just 38 runs in the death overs. While majority of the damage was done by Russell in his two overs, where he took three wickets in the 20th over, Pat Cummins also provided crucial breakthroughs to return 2-24. Russell's 5-15 was the best figures registered by a KKR player.

Following the loss, KKR captain Eoin Morgan said, “It's disappointing. A lot of the time we played good cricket, certainly the first half and a majority of the chase. We made mistakes but hopefully we can iron them out. As far as the pitch is concerned, the trend is showing that the team batting first is winning the matches here. If that’s how it is, we need to adapt to it quickly.”

Meanwhile, Rana received the Orange Cap for being the highest run getter of the tournament so far. KKR will play their third and last match in Chennai on April 18 against RCB.