IPL 2024: Venkatesh Iyer hits 70, but KKR shot out for 169 as Thushara, Bumrah claim three each

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Venkatesh Iyer struck a fighting half-century but Mumbai Indians rode on three-fers by pace duo Jasprit Bumrah and Nuwan Thushara to bowl out Kolkata Knight Riders for 169 in Match 51 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

Thushara justified skipper Hardik Pandya’s decision to bowl first by claiming three wickets in his first two overs. With Pandya and Piyush Chawla chipping in with a wicket each, KKR were 57/5 soon after the Power-play.

But Venkatesh Iyer played a brilliant, controlled knock to score 70 off 52 balls and raised an 83-run partnership with Manish Pandey (42) for the sixth wicket to take them to 140. However, Bumrah claimed three wickets off 18, two of them in the same over, to hasten KKR’s downfall as they managed a paltry score.

The name Ilandari Dewage Nuwan Thushara — is a mouthful for anyone. On Friday, the Sri Lankan pacer with a slingy bowling action that reminds of Mumbai Indians legend Lasith Malinga, proved a handful for Kolkata Knight Riders batters. The 29-year-old landed three lethal blows in his first spell of two overs, sending back the dangerous Phil Salt (5), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (13) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (6) as KKR slumped to 28/3 in three overs.

Thushara has claimed only one wicket in the three matches he has played for MI this season. But Friday proved his day as he opened the bowling and struck the first blow in the opening over itself.

Salt smashed the third delivery of his first over down the ground for a four but after bowling a wide down the legside, Thushara had his revenge as he got the ball to nip away off the pitch and Salt, attempting to play it past midwicket, gets a leading edge behind point where Tilak Verma pouches it despite a collision with Naman Dhir.

Raghuvanshi hammered Thushara for a six, lifting him over midwicket as the bowler drifted onto the pad — the first over costing 14 runs but more importantly Thushara claimed the first wicket.

Raghuvanshi hammered the Sri Lankan for another six off the first ball of his second over but Thushara had his revenge off the next ball, as he changed the line and cut down the pace, getting the batter to pop a simple catch to Suryakumar Yadav at cover. Shreyas Iyer struck a four off the first delivery he faced and a double on the second before spooning a catch to Tim David at mid-on while trying to flick a fullish delivery of this pads, beaten for pace this time.

Hardik Pandya brought himself into the attack and was carted for a huge six by Sunil Narine off his first delivery. But the Mumbai Indians skipper had his man off the next delivery as this time he out-thought the West Indies batter with pace and bowled him.

KKR were struggling at 57/4 after the Power-play and it became 57/5 when Piyush Chawla foxed him with a slower one as the batter chipped it back to the bowler for a simple catch.

Venkatesh Iyer and Manish Pandey, brought in as an Impact Substitute for Raghuvanshi, revived the innings with an 83-run stand, starting cautiously before unleashing some super shots to boost the scoring rate.

Venkatesh started by hitting two fours off Gerald Coetzee in the fourth over and took a four off Naman Dhir. After a spell of slow batting, he exploded into action in the 12th over, hammering a four and a six off Coetzee, the maximum over extra-cover fence executed quite well.

He reached his half-century off 36 balls, studded with five boundaries and a six.

The experienced Pandey, who tonked Bumrah for a four and six in three balls in the 14th over, hammered Pandya over long-on for another six but fell soon after as Hardik sent down a slow cutter wide off off-stump and the Karnataka batter was caught by substitute Brevis at extra-cover. Pandy made 42 off 31 balls, hitting two fours and as many sixes, but did his job in his first outing as he helped KKR recover from a precarious position.

Disaster struck KKR when Venkatesh Iyer and Andre Russell, after hitting a six each off Pandya, got into a horrendous mix-up, resulting in the West Indies dasher getting run out.

Venkatesh Iyer continued to propel the KKR innings but Bumrah expedited their demise by landing two blows in the 18th over, sending back Ramandeep Singh and Mitchell Starc with two superb deliveries. From 140/5, the Knight Riders slumped to 155/9 and their innings finally ended with a ball to spare when Bumrah beat with an un-hittable delivery as he lost his balance and fell over, trying to flick him to the boundary.

Only three KKR batters managed to reach double figures as the Mumbai Indians bowlers used the conditions perfectly to get themselves into a strong position to score their fourth victory in IPL 2024,

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 169 all out in 19.5 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 70, Manish Pandey 42; Jasprit Bumrah 3-18, Nuwan Thushara 3-42, Hardik Pandya 2-44) against Mumbai Indians.

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