Pat Cummins blasted the joint-fastest fifty in IPL history with an unbeaten 15-ball 56 as he helped Kolkata Knight Riders romp home by 5 wickets and 24 balls to spare.
Chasing 162 on a tricky pitch that assisted pace and bounce, Cummins came to the crease with his side precariously placed at 101 for 5 in the fourteenth over. After punching a single to mid-off off his first delivery, he smashed a leg-stump half volley for a six followed by a boundary. Facing Jasprit Bumrah in the next over, he repeated the feat to bring the required rate down to seven with five overs to go. Daniel Sams, then, bowled an over he would be desperate to consign to his past. Cummins walloped the remaining 35 runs off the sixteenth over hitting four sixes and two boundaries to complete the chase single-handedly.
It wasn't all plain-sailing though. Mumbai Indians sent back Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer as both fell to a short ball each from Tymal Mills and Sams. Sam Billings struck two sixes to soothe the early jitters but he holed out to Basil Thampi off Murugan Ashwin in the tenth over before Nitish Rana, too, fell for eight 11 balls later. Venkatesh Iyer overcame a slow start to post his fifth fifty, albiet his slowest in the tournament, off 41 balls. Andre Russell's wicket in the fourteenth over brought Cummins to the crease and shortly, the carnage ensued.
The win continued Knight Riders' unbeaten run at the MCA Stadium in IPL, the longest streak for any team playing outside home conditions. It was also just their eighth win in 30 games against Mumbai.
Earlier in the day, skipper Iyer won the toss and opted to bowl first. KKR’s stronger suit has been chasing, coming into the game having won 9 out of 13 matches batting second since 2021. Rasikh Salam was handed his first cap for the Purple and Gold while welcoming back Pat Cummins from national duty in place of Tim Southee.
Umesh Yadav and Salam bowled relentlessly into the pitch, regularly pitching the ball short of good length and mixing it up by attacking the stumps before the former struck to send back Rohit Sharma back for the 3 in the third over. Dewald Brevis, on IPL debut, attempted to break the shackles in a counter-attacking 19-ball 29 but was stumped off Varun Chakravarthy in the eighth over.
Three overs later, Ishan Kishan, coming off two half-centuries, looked to pull but could only find Iyer at midwicket. Mumbai, after a sedate start, batting at 5 an over until the eleventh over, launched a counter-attack that saw them post 76 runs in the last five overs. Suryakumar Yadav, playing his first game of the season, notched up a 36-ball 52, hitting five boundaries and a brace of sixes. Tilak Varma was dropped at 4 by Ajinkya Rahane, which proved to be costly, as he went on to hit two sixes and three fours in a knock of 38 before Kieron Pollard applied the finishing touches with three sixes in the last over off Pat Cummins to help Mumbai post 161 for 4.