Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bowl first in the Qualifier 2 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. We made two changes in our team as Colin de Grandhomme and Ankit Rajpoot made their way into the XI, in place of Trent Boult and Yusuf Pathan.
Not the perfect start:
Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine opened the innings but failed to give us a blazing start. Rohit Sharma set the perfect fielding for the explosive opening pair and it yield rewards. Lynn, trying to get things rolling, holed out to long on off Bumrah. Gautam Gambhir came in next, and brought some composure. Narine played a good shot for six and showed confidence, but did not get going. Uthappa, who had failed in the last few matches, came next. But Bumrah got the better off him as he was trapped in front of the stumps. Gambhir and Jaggi then were at the crease. Gambhir looked good at the start but gave away his wicket, playing an unnecessary shot. Karn Sharma dismissed the main man and followed it up as he trapped Colin de Grandhomme in front of the stumps on the next ball. Suryakumar Yadav came next and he, along with Jaggi steadied the ship, for some time. At the end of 10 overs, we were 53/5.
Knights put 107 on the board:
The two young batsmen took their time and rotated the strike beautifully in the middle overs. Suryakumar was the more aggressive of the two as he deposited the bad balls to fours and sixes. Jaggi, playing his second match of the season, looked comfortable and made sure he gave more strike to Surya. The pair brought up their 50-run partnership but Jaggi departed soon after. He made 28 off 31 balls. That was the last recognized pair as Piyush Chawla came next. Chawla, who had shown some promise with the bat in the earlier seasons, could not do it tonight as he was dismissed for just 2. Nathan Coulter-Nile was the next one to return to the pavilion as he was caught in the deep off Mitchell Johnson. Surya departed next as Malinga took a good catch off Bumrah’s bowling. At the end, we made 107 when Ankit Rajpoot was deceived by a Malinga slower ball.
MI steady themselves after a shaky start:
Needing 108 runs, MI didn’t get to the perfect start. Lendl Simmons returned to the pavilion as Chawla trapped him in front of the stumps for 3. Parthiv Patel, who played some good-looking shots failed to carry on as he edged one to Uthappa off Umesh. Rayudu could not contribute much either as he was dismissed for 6. After 6 overs, MI were 36/3 and the match was looking interesting. But then Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya, played sensibly to up a partnership. Gambhir tried to break the partnership but could not get any success. Together they added on 54 runs with Krunal being the aggressive one. Rohit Sharma, trying to finish things in a hurry, holed out in the deep. The MI skipper made 26. But it was little late and in the end, Krunal remained unbeaten on 45 and they went on to win the match by 6 wickets.
The last note:
It was a great season for the Knights as they gave their all but fell short on the night. In the after-match presentation, captain Gautam Gambhir said, ‘Had we had wickets, we could have targeted one or two bowlers. Proud, because we put everything we could. We had two opportunities, we missed it. We could have had two cracks at the top two. The boys were professional through the season.’ The Knights finished third in the competition and we have to applaud their efforts. Thank you, Knights!