|Scorecard:||Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Player:||AS Chopra, Salman Butt, AB Agarkar, Shoaib Akhtar, RV Uthappa, SM Pollock, SR Tendulkar, ST Jayasuriya|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2007/08|
DateLine: 17th May 2008
Two teams with the momentum going their way, two teams fighting for that elusive fourth semi-final berth, that was supposed to be the match up at the Wankhede in Mumbai today. With Shoaib Akhtar and Sanath Jayasuriya having come good in the last match for their respective teams, it was already getting touted as the battle between the bowlers of Kolkata Knight Riders and the batsmen of the Mumbai Indians. Unfortunately, the Kolkata Knight Riders mauled by the Mumbai bowlers, giving their bowlers no chance to defend ones of the smallest totals of T20 cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar earlier won the toss and elected to field first, which did not bother Sourav Ganguly too much given his penchant for batting first in this season of IPL. Mumbai’s best bowler – in terms of the wickets taken – youngster Dhawal Kulkarni was injured and missed out, getting replaced by Rajesh Pawar instead. As it turned out, Pawar was not needed on this pitch and conditions tailor made for swing and seam bowlers.
Shaun Pollock bowled the spell of the match, bowling his quota of four overs at one go, and picking up three wickets for 12 runs off them. But even as he was off the attack, the rest of the pace bowlers did not let the Knight Riders off the hook with some tight, stump-to-stump bowling, allowing the ball to do its own tricks off the wicket. The Knight Riders looked as clueless as someone playing their first game of a new format, and crashed to an abysmal 67 all out, the lowest total of this season of IPL. Ganguly and Ajit Agarkar’s 15 was the highest score of the innings. Incidentally, Tendulkar held four catches.
Mumbai did lose Sachin Tendulkar for a duck, and then Robin Uthappa for 9, but Sanath Jayasuriya teed off from where he had left in the last match to see his team through. He scored an unbeaten, 17-ball 49. Shaun Pollock won the Man-of-the-match award for his brilliant bowling performance.
Kolkata Knight Riders may not panic after just one loss, but, there definitely seems like a need for a rethink at the top of their batting. Akash Chopra has done nothing to prove his detractors that he is a batsman meant for this format of the game, and Ganguly would need to get in someone else in place of Chopra. Again, the middle order, after Hussey at four, seems a little brittle, which needs a little attention. Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi DareDevils are now tied at 10 points each, but Mumbai has played one lesser game than the rest.