Mumbai Indians continued their incessant domination of Kolkata Knight Riders with a splendid 102-run win at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Mumbai had won 17 of the 22 encounters prior to this and there was a distinct you-can’t-beat-me tone to this win in Kolkata's backyard, a proud fortress they have often had to surrender to Mumbai. Here we present to you the best moments from the battle at the Eden.
A crazy deflection
Mumbai Indians had got off to a good start courtesy Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav but as has been the case with Lewis’s Indian Premier League (IPL) season, his strike rate was hovering around a run-a-ball and Suryakumar too wasn't striking at the rate he is known to.
The duo had built a strong platform at the top but needed to start firing and just as Lewis seemed ready to take off, something weird unfolded. Piyush Chawla dished out another of his short, hit-me-out-of-the-park balls and Lewis went across to hack, only to miss the ball by a mile.
However, it rapped his pad, popped up and caught the back of the bat while on the swing. The ball ballooned up off the edge and was pouched at short third man, much to Lewis’s dismay. Imagine missing a swipe on the leg-side completely and being caught on the off-side! Lewis just can't seem to get things right.
The no-ball drama – dunce-like rules or a messed up replay?
The introduction of DRS has eliminated the howlers, they say. But the 16th over of the Mumbai Indians innings showed that with senseless umpiring and inflexible rules, DRS could sometimes be of no use.
In a bizarre series of events, Tom Curran's delivery to Rohit Sharma was deemed as a front-foot no-ball by the on-field umpire. Replays on the big screen,though, showed that the delivery was a fair one much to the annoyance of Dinesh Karthik and other Kolkata Knight Riders’ players. Tom Curran wanted to go upstairs for the decision to be overturned and Karthik was seen having a lengthy discussion with the umpires.
— William-Son-Risers ?? (@Mister_Awesomee) May 9, 2018
But according to the rules, the umpires cannot change a decision on the basis of big screen replays. If the decision was terrible, the lack of an option to overturn the call was even worse.
That said, it is unclear if the replays shown on the big screen were of the very same ball. This suspicion arises on the basis of a wrong replay being shown to the third umpire during the Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Mumbai Indians clash where Umesh Yadav was adjudged out and it was checked whether the bowler had overstepped.
Replays shown to the third umpire revealed Jasprit Bumrah, the bowler, to be well inside the popping crease. However, later it was noticed that Umesh was at the non-striker's end in the same replay which meant the third umpire was watching replays of a different delivery.
In Curran's case, though, it is unclear if that is what had happened. Given Kolkata's eventual collapse it can safely be assumed that it had no bearing on the result of the match but umpiring howlers this season seem to have no end.
The left-handed MSD helicopter followed by a slip up
With Mumbai Indians chugging along at a rate of just over seven, Ishan Kishan strode out to the middle and blasted the bejesus out of Kolkata's truckload of spinners. Seventeen of the 21 balls he faced were played with an attacking intent as spotted by CricProf but none of his shots stood out as much as a dazzling helicopter shot à la MS Dhoni off Kuldeep Yadav in an over that saw him hit the Chinaman spinner for four consecutive sixes.
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— Irbaz rethda (@Irbaz234) May 9, 2018
The fourth of those stood out from the rest for he went deep inside his crease, converted the yorker-length ball from Kuldeep into a length delivery and tonked it over mid-wicket with a swish resembling a helicopter shot.
The ball sailed flat but went the distance much to the awe of the commentators who went gaga over the sweetly-timed shot.
If Kishan thought he had done Dhoni proud with his helicopter shot and a 17-ball half-century, it came apart in the second innings when a Mitchell McCleneghan bouncer caught the edge of Chris Lynn’s bat. The ball ricocheted onto his helmet and went straight up in the air. Kishan, rising and rushing in from his wicketkeeper's crouch, slipped right as the ball was about to settle into his mitts and ended up completely missing the catch. A displeased Rohit turned livid as Lynn hammered the next two balls for a six and a four. However, much to Kishan's relief, Lynn was run out in the following over, with Robin Uthappa selling his partner down the river.
Run out horrors
With a mammoth 211-run target staring them in the face, Kolkata Knight Riders knew that their only chance to gun down the record IPL score at the Eden Gardens rested on the broad shoulders of their Australian swashbuckler at the top, Lynn. The opener, whose ferocious hitting is often described as 'Lynnsanity', seemed pumped up for the challenge and bludgeoned his way to 21 from 14 balls.
However, it didn't last long. Uthappa pushed Krunal Pandya to cover and called for a single. Suddenly realising that there was no run on offer, Uthappa decided to stay put at the striker's end and sent Lynn, who had already reached half-way down the pitch, back. Suryakumar and Krunal completed a fairly easy run out to send a seething Lynn back to the hut.
The hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals and after Andre Russell's wicket, which seemed like the decisive blow, all hopes of KKR centred around Dinesh Karthik, the new-found finisher in IPL circles.
Karthik has a stupendous record while chasing totals this IPL season so far, but it barely mattered with Nitish Rana pulling off an Uthappa and left Karthik stranded mid-pitch. The KKR skipper attempted to return to the non-striker's end but the bails were removed by then and Kolkata's final hopes vanished with the second run out of the innings.