Hardik Pandya’s heroic bowling takes Mumbai Indians in the playoffs with a 9-run wins over Kolkata Knight Riders

Mumbai Indians finish the league games with a win and retaining the top spot in IPL 2017 standings as they reach playoffs with 10 wins from 14 games

Mumbai Indians (MI) entered the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 playoffs as they registered a win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their last league game beating them by 9 runs. It was an evenly matched contest with little to differ as it came right down to the wire. KKR despite losing 8 wickets were in the game until the last over but could not seal the deal at their home ground Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

KKR needed 14 runs in the last over with strike bowlers Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult at the crease with Hardik bowling the last over. He did not disappoint his team and gave just 4 runs in his over. Umesh and Boult did what was expected of them as they could not even score a boundary in the final over.

It was Mitchell Johnson and Hardik Pandya who got MI back into the match as they came before the death overs. Hardik took the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme who was looking dangerous alongside Pandey. Pandya got another breakthrough and it seemed like it was the last nail in the coffin.

Earlier MI got off to a bad start as they lost Lendl Simmons for a duck in the third over. But, Saurabh Tiwary who was playing his first game in IPL 2017 validated his selection by hitting his first half-century in the season. Rohit Sharma got off to a good start but could not convert it into a big score. Ambati Rayudu too stepped up to the task and scored 63 from 37 balls stitching a partnership of 61 for the third wicket of Tiwary.

KKR bowlers made a comeback in the death overs as they restricted MI to 173 for 5. At one point in time, it seemed like MI would be able to post somewhere around 190-200. Ankit Rajpoot turned out to be the most economical bowler for KKR picking up a wicket and gave 14 runs in 3 overs. Trent Boult picked up two wickets whereas Kuldeep Yadav got only one in 3 overs.