A second-string Mumbai Indians, without several key players, proved too strong for Kolkata Knight Riders as they clinched a nine-run victory at the Eden Gardens.
Chasing 174 for victory, KKR finished on 164 for eight with Hardik Pandya, Tim Southee and R Vinay Kumar claiming two wickets each.
top team with 10 wins from 14 games, while KKR are third with eight victories in the league stages.
The victory secures top position for Mumbai Indians, who will play the Qualifier 1 match. A win there will send them straight to the final.
If Rising Pune Supergiant win against Kings XI Punjab, they will play Mumbai in Qualifier 1, whereas a loss could see them eliminated as Punjab have a superior run rate. Sunrisers in that case will end up as the number 2.
Hardik’s double proves vital
Hardik Pandya put in a match-winning bowling performance to take 2-22 in his 4.
Hardik Pandya bowled Colin de Grandhomme off an inside edge for 29 to put Mumbai in the driver’s seat ending a promising partnership at the right time.
KKR’s last remaining specialist batsman Manish Pandey was looking to take the match right till the end but he was also snapped up by Hardik.
After batting sensibly to score 33 from as many balls, he chanced his arm against the pacer only to hole out to deep midwicket, in the 18th over.
The final few overs went to script for Mumbai with the KKR lower order unable to make any sort of impression.
This was the first defeat for KKR in a run chase at the Eden Gardens since 2013.
"Finishing on top of the table is something we spoke about at the start of the game. That is exactly what we did... we batted, bowled and fielded well. It was good to see and it goes on to show that we have a great bench strength. The boys have proved their bit whenever they got opportunities. They were going at 10 an over but we kept picking wickets. We were not panicking and were just executing our plans. When the batsmen come hard it isn't easy for the bolwers but hats off to them for keeping their calm. One half of the tournament is over, we are entering another little tournament where we have to play well in the play-offs."
-- Rohit Sharma
"It was a tough wait. The team was doing well and I was rightly sitting out after the injury. I am happy that I could get a good knock today. We were looking at 165 to be honest because the wicket was sticky. Anything between 170 and 180 and we knew we would win the game. It was tough to keep wickets, I was doing it after four years. Honestly I would say I don't enjoy it but I am happy to do the job for the team."
-- Ambati Rayudu, man of the match
"It was a very chaseable total. If we had batted sensibly we would have chased it down, but there were some irresponsible shots with the batsmen throwing their bat at everything. Had one of the batsman batted till the end, we could have chased it down. I thought we were trying to chase it in 10-12 overs. We were one batter short so we had to take the responsibility. We have to pull up our socks. If we bat like this, it does not matter whether we are in the play-offs or not. If we have to win the tournament we will have to bat sensibly. We cannot do anything now, we will have to see how other teams go from here."
-- Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir concedes his batters went in too aggressively. "It looked like we wanted to finish the game in 10-12 overs. Had someone hung in there, we would have finished the game."
A single of the last ball and KKR lose by 9 runs. Its first in a run chase at the Eden since 2013.
Another dot ball and KKR now need 11 off 1
Another dot ball. Banged in short. Boult tries to hit and misses.
Hit and miss. 3 off 11 now.
The batsmen push through a double.
Need 11 off 4 now.
Trent Boult and Umesh Yadav try to make a go of this. Hardik Pandya bowls. A single off the first ball.
Was Kuldeep Yadav unlucky? The snickometer suggest the sound was from the bat hitting the ground.
Anyway, KKR now need 14 off 6.
OUT! Yadav departs after a steady 16-run stand. Southee bowls a fuller one outside the wicket. Yadav tries to cut but gets a nick which carries into the wicketkeeper's hands.
16 off 9. Two wickets in hand.
Yadav sweeps the second ball to fine leg, where Johnson makes a mess of it. Four runs. The ball hurried over the practice wicket.
A single of the first ball.
A good over for Mumbai. 4 off it and a wicket. 21 needed of 12.
Mumbai Indians are sensing a victory here. Kolkata Knight Riders now need 24 off 15 with three wickets in hand.
Umesh Yadav is out in the middle.
Can Kuldeep Yadav do it?
OUT! And just as KKR was looking it had a foot in the door, Pandey suffers a brainfreeze. Heaves a Hardik Pandya deliver straight down long-on's throat.
That is the end of KKR's specialist batsmen.
A low full toss for the free hit delivery, which Yadav could only hit for a single.
Still, this was an expensive over for Mumbai.
Kolkata now need 25 in 18.
Yadav and Pandey have dug in.
Mumbai are looking sloppy here. After the catch drop, they miss a direct hit, which could have run Pandey out.
If that wasn't enough, Southee bowls a no ball, resulting in a free hit.
Pandey gets a life. Pulls one straight to mid wicket where the fielder drops it. Has this turned the match in KKR's favour?
Southee comes on. Starts off with a loosener. Bowls one at Pandey's hips, which he maneuvers to the fine leg boundary.
Yadav gives himself room but Johnson puts the ball at his feet. Tries to flick but fails. Falls in his crease.
That brings up the 16th over, and with it, the timeout.
This match is interestingly poised, with KKR needing 39 off 24, with 4 wickets in hand.
Mitch bangs one in short. Pandey ducks and pulls to mid wicket for a single.
Mitch comes on from the other end. Another wicket could seal the match for Mumbai Indians. The Kniight Riders are now appearing to play some sensible cricket -- trying to sneak quick singles. Something they should have tried when they had more wickets in hand.
KKR are now 131/6 after 15 overs. 43 needed off 30.
Kuldeep Yadav comes out to bat. KKR are still comfortable on the run rate front. 45 needed of 33 balls. Can this duo take them home?
OUT! Vinay Kumar comes back and gives Mumbai an immediate breakthrough. Back of length delivery that nips back in and castles Grandhomme. The batsman is disappointed.
Still, a good over from Mitch. Two off it. Will this match go down to the wire?
SCORE: 128/5 after 14 overs.
Mitch Johnson comes bank into the attack. And he's unlucky rightaway. Pandey tries to cut one, get an audible nick which carries to the keeper. But the umpire is unmoved despite Rayudu's fervent appeal.
Interestingly, Johnson didn't appeal.
It's noisy there in the stadium.
Krunal Pandya comes into the attack. Grandhomme and Pandey rotate a few strikes. Grandhomme playing sensibly. The two are trying to work up a partnership here.
SCORE: 115/5 after 12 overs.
A productive 11th over for KKR. Grandhomme milks it for three boundaries.
SCORE: 106/5 after 11 overs
de Grandhomme comes out to bat. He and Pandey will have to get a partnership going, if they have to make a match of this. The run rate is no problem but half of KKR is back in the hut.
SCORE: 92/5 after 10 overs
Yusuf Pathan finally runs out of luck. Tries to clear the boundary once more. Ends up hitting straight to the fielder at mid on. Out for 20 off 7.
Gambhir sits in the dug-out wearing a desolate look.
On the other end, Manish Pandey tries to settle in.
And well, Pathan seriously is in a hurry despite the near wicket. Swings on pitched on his leg into stands. Calmy chews his gum - a la Sir Viv.
That's not enough. The second ball, bowled wide of off, and Pathan dispatches this one again for a six over the bowler's head.
SCORE: 80/4 after 8 overs.
Who's next? Yusuf Pathan. Who like all Kolkata batsmen looks to be in a hurry -- to either win or lose soon. Slogs the first delivery he faces blindly. The ball takes the edge and flies towards the third man. And thankfully just over the fielder's hand -- for a six.
SCORE: 63/4 after 7 overs.
Vinay Kumar comes into bowl. Vinay Kumar comes into bowl. And he strikes rightaway. Chris Lynn is gone. Pulls straight one to deep mid wicket.
Karn Sharma comes back again and weaves the newcomer Robin Uthappa into a tangle. After a couple of attempted hits, Uthappa ends up holing out to mid off for 2.
Kolkata will be under pressure now. They badly need a partnership going now.
Gambhir's wicket has done nothing to rein in Lynn, who squats a rising delivery into the deep square boundary. Pulls the next one again, to the fine leg boundary.
SCORE: 49-2 after 5 overs.
OUT! After the yorker, Johnson pitches one up into Gambhir's body. The KKR captain tries a late hook, gets a top edge, which goes up miles into the air and finally goes down Karn Sharma's throat.
Gambhir out for 21.
Johnson comes back from the other end. Bowls a tighter line this time. Puts one in into the block hole that Gambhir awkwardly digs out.
Change of strategy. MI introduce Karn Sharma into the attack. But Gambhir was a piece of the action too. Drives on the up to extra cover boundary. Reminds one of Sourav Ganguly's shots. The Kolkata crowd is boisterous.
SCORE: 35/1 after 4 overs.
There's more. Southee pitches a half volley that Lynn pulls over to the mid wicket boundary for four.
SCORE 30/1 after 3 overs
He's not done yet. Southee bowls one right into the slot and Lynn heaves another one, again into the crowd.
Start of the third over and Chris Lynn gets into business. Stands straight up and slogs one straight into the stands for a maximum.
Mitchell Johnson comes on. Starts off with a loosener and a wide. Bangs the third one in short.
The fourth one? Gambhir pulls it on towards long off for four. Was short but not short enough.
Trouble strikes KKR early. After softening Narine up with a couple of short deliveries, Southee gets him to mistime one to mid off. Narine goes without opening his tally.
KKR openers come out to bat: Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn. Southee is bowling.
End of innings wrap-up
Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary, handed a rare place in the starting XI, made it count as they both stroked half-centuries to lift Mumbai Indians to a competitive 173 for five after they had been put into bat following a 30-minute rain-delay at the Eden Gardens.
Rayudu staged a late assault as he smashed 63 from 37 balls, while Tiwary stroked 52 from 43 balls.
It was a day of the replacement players as Trent Boult, who came in for Chris Woakes, was KKR’s best performer with the ball as he claimed two for 30.
Rajpoot picks the big one
Pacer Ankit Rajpoot not only claimed the big wicket of Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma but he also dried up the runs in the middle overs with a tight spell.
He registered impressive figures of one for 14 in three overs and managed to keep Mumbai’s batsmen tied in the middle overs.
Tiwary makes most of opportunity
Saurabh Tiwary was handed a rare opportunity as Mumbai decided to test their bench strength. He made most of the chance, stroking his way to a half-century in his first appearance in IPL-10.
But he was unfortunate to lose his wicket courtesy of a run out after Ambati Rayudu forced him go for a non-existent single, in the 16th over.
Rayudu’s attack boosts Mumbai
Ambati Rayudu featured in just his second match of IPL-10 and he also grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
He changed gears quite efficiently in the final few overs and provided the much-needed late impetus for Mumbai in the closing stages.
Rayudu raced to his fifty from just 32 balls with Mumbai smashing 63 runs from five over between over No. 15 to 19 when the right-hander caused maximum damage with the bat.
Kuldeep Yadav ended his entertaining innings of 63 from 37 balls, laced with six fours and three sixes, by having him stumped in the penultimate over.
Kolkata will now need to score 174 to win. They sure have the batting firepower. They would like for Gambhir to fire at the top.
"We would have liked to have put up 180 but we are happy," says Rayudu. "It was good to come back from an injury layoff, find a place and get some runs going."
Mumbai should indeed be happy, for having recovered from the loss of Simmons' wicket early and Rohit's wicket later. They also neatly accelerated the score.
Boult ends this neatly, offering just 5 off the last over. Mumbai end up with 173 on the board. Will it be enough?
Boult bowls the last over. Troubles Pollard by bowling a few yorkers. Pollard finally tries to hit a low full toss, and ends up getting caught on the pitch.
Dismissed for 13.
But that is about all Rayudu can get. Steps out again to hit, misses and is stumped cleanly. Rayudu departs for 63 off 37 balls.
SCORE: 168/4 after 19 overs.
Pollard turns the strike over to Rayudu, who dances down the wicket and hits a wide one straight down the ground.
Kuldeep Yadav comes on to bowl his third. May be able to keep Pollard in check, given the latter's weakness against spin.
There's more for Mumbai fans. Boult pitches the fifth ball up to Pollard who pulls one into the stands. That was a powerful heave, even as it was mistimed.
SCORE: 157/3 after 18 overs.
Mumbai need to get some quick runs going here. A 170-odd score may not be enough. The ball is coming on to the bat and outfield is fast.
SCORE: 139/3 after 17 overs.
The big man, Kieron Pollard, comes out to bat. Rayudu faces Narine for the first ball, which he dispatches to the boundary.
With that, Tiwary has brought up his 50. A quiet one, but Mumbai will bank on him to speed things up from here.
Narine comes on. Mumbai finally get some momentum going. Rayudu swats the second ball to the mid wicket boundary for four. Tiwary hits the fifth and sixth deliveries to the boundary.
SCORE: 118/2 after 15 overs.
The next five balls are better. Keeps it close to the stumps line while still keeping it short. Tiwary tries some orthodox shots -- trying to turn around and hit one behind the stumps -- but fails.
SCORE: 105/2 after 14 overs.
But not for too long. Umesh Yadav bangs in one short early in the 14th over while giving away some room. Tiwary frees his arms and swats it to the cover boundary.
Kolkata would like to be happy with the proceedings so far, having managed to keep both Rayudu and Tiwary quiet. Both can be big hitters.
Rajpoot gives away just five runs in that over.
With that, the umpire calls for another strategic timeout.
Score: 99/2 after 13 overs.
Rajpoot continues his spell. Continues to keep a nagging length even as Rayudu once tries to step out to hit but misses.
Mumbai are now trying open up. Rayudu tries to slog sweep one against Narine but misses. But gets it right on the fourth delivery. Swatted to the square leg boundary where the fielder can't reach the ball in time.
Score: 94/2 after 12 overs.
Rajpoot comes in for to bowl his second over. But Tiwary hits out straight for a drive towards the boundary.
Score: 86/2 after 11 overs.
Left-arm Kuldeep Yadav comes in for his second over. Mumbai will need to get some momentum going if they want to put a big score on the board. The Kolkata bowlers are keeping a tight line.
Score: 79/2 after 10 overs.
A second-string Mumbai Indians were kept in check by Kolkata Knight Riders as they posted 79 for two in 10 overs.
Mumbai Indians, who rested all of their top players, lost an early wicket when Lendl Simmons was dismissed for a duck by Boult
Rohit made 27 before he was trapped LBW by Ankit Rajpoot but Saurabh Tiwary was batting on 30.
With Parthiv Patel rested, Mumbai got left-hander Saurabh Tiwary to open the innings with Lendl Simmons with Rohit preferring to bat lower down the order.
Tiwary got going with a couple of fours off Colin de Grandhomme in the second over but Boult picked up an early wicket when he dismissed Simmons for a duck, caught by Sunil Narine at mid-off.
Rohit Sharma didn’t let the early wicket bog his team down as he and Tiwary drove Mumbai along in the Powerplay with regular boundaries to guide them to 51 for one in six overs.
Rajpoot’s big strike
Mumbai looked like building a sizeable partnership with Rohit again looking good at his favourite Eden Gardens.
However, his promising innings was nipped in the bud by young fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot. He got Rohit leg before wicket for 27 to end the 57-run stand for the second wicket, in the ninth over.
Tale of the toss:
Kolkata Knight Riders wanted to keep it simple – win and finish among the top two which would give them a chance to play the Qualifier 1 match.
Mumbai Indians, who are assured of finishing among the top two even if they lose, decided to experiment by making as many as six changes to their team.
Kolkata were forced to make one change with Trent Boult replacing the injured Chris Woakes.
Mumbai rest their entire bowling attack as Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh get a rest, while Parthiv Patel and Nitin Rana are also given a break. Mumbai have a pretty formidable bench strength as they bring in some top class replacements in Mitchell Johnson, Tim Southee, Ambati Rayudu, Krunal Pandya, Saurabh Tiwary and R Vinay Kumar.
Tight over from Rajpoot. 4 runs plus the prized wicket of Rohit Sharma.
Score: 72/2 after 9 overs.
Ambit Rayudu comes out to bat. Tries to cut a short delivery going away without much footwork. Misses.
At this point, the strategic timeout is taken.
Score: 69/2 after 8.2 overs.
OUT! Medium pacer Ankit Rajpoot comes on. Swings one in sharply into Rohit Sharma who tries and fails at a late cut. Balls hits the top of the frontfoot pad. Is adjudged out LBW.
Rohit slogs the second one towards deep mid wicket. Travels to the boundary.
Score: Mumbai 68/1 after 8 overs
De Grandhomme concedes a four off the first ball but bowls a tighter line since. Concedes six runs.
Score: Mumbai 57/1 after 7 overs
de Grandhomme changes ends and comes on.
12 off that Umesh Yadav over.
Score: Mumbai 51/1 after 6 overs
SIX. Yadav pitches short. Rohit stays rooted in his crease, frees his arms and launches the ball over the boundary at long-on.
Umesh comes in from the other end. Gives Tiwary some room on off, and the batsman cuts hard. The ball travels to the boundary.
Last delivery. Rohit misses a heave towards leg.
Score: 39/1 after 5 overs.
Gambhir brings in Narine. Rohit wants to unsettle the batsman from the get-go. After a couple of misses, sweeps one to the boundary.
Yet another one. This time, Tiwary takes strike and drives a solid punch towards long off.
13 runs off that over.
Score: 32/1 after 4 overs
Umesh Yadav is now in. He has had a robust IPL 2017.
On the third ball, Rohit drives one wristily toward short fine leg. Goes all the way to four.
The outfield is fast despite the rains.
FOUR! Tiwary breaks free, drives one on the up solidly, between mid off and extra cover.
Score: 18/1 after 3 overs.
8.45 pm: Rohit Sharma has come out to bat. Boult is bowling a tight, uncomfortable line, moving the ball quite a lot. Rohit plays one down and is off to a single.
8.43 pm: WICKET! After struggling a little bit against Boult in the first over, Simmons charges but ends up hitting straight to mid off.
For the final delivery, Tiwary takes a swipe at a short delivery but misses. He's clearly been sent to attack.
Score: 12-0 after 2 overs.
Colin de Grandhomme comes on from the other hand. Tiwary punches the first ball to a four to mid wicket, charges down for another one and misses.
He is still not satisfied. Cuts another one to third man one for four.
Simmons defends the last one.
Score: MI 2/0 after 1 over.
Boult bowls a beauty. Sharp in-swinger that turned in into Simmons but turned in too much. Down the leg. Umpire says no for LBW.
Tiwary leaves one alone and takes a swipe at the third delivery. Takes off for a run.
Begin of play: Trent Boult starts off with a wide against Tiwary. Goes against the left hander.
Rohit Sharma is not opening. Saurabh Tiwary will partner with Lendl Simmons at the top.
Here's Mumbai's playing XI:
Phil Simmons, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Keiron Pollard, Saurabh Tiwary, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Tim Southee and Mitchell Johnson
Play is expected to begin in a few minutes.
But Mumbai has done as many as 5 changes. Captain Rohit Sharma says this is because the team wanted to test its bench strength, having already qualified.
But as Sunil Gavaskar says, this could also be due to a few losses the team saw late in the tournament.8.12 pm:
The toss has taken place. Kolkata win the toss and elect to bowl.
The Eden Gardens is one of Rohit Sharma’s happy hunting grounds where he has led Mumbai Indians to two IPL titles -- winning the final in 2013 and 2015. He registered his highest score – 109 -- at this venue in IPL 2012.
He also scored a world record 264 in an ODI against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in 2014. So, he will be hoping to get back among the runs here.
In fact, Kolkata have beaten Mumbai only five times in 19 meetings overall and the last of those victories was in April 2015 at Eden.
The covers are now mostly off. The players are now out on the field practising. The toss is expected to take place.
Kolkata has put up a strong show in this IPL, even as its record against Mumbai Indians is dismal: 2-5
It would like to turn that around.
Reports from the ground suggest the outfield is still wet and that the start may be delayed.
First up, some bad news. It's rained over at the Eden Garden in Kolkata, even though the rains have now stopped.
Groundsmen are busy trying to dry up the ground even -- the suppersopper is out -- and the covers are being taken off.
Indian Premier League Match 54: Welcome to the live coverage for the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians are sitting pretty on top of the table, having qualified to the playoffs. Kolkata should also be through if they win but a loss may tighten things up.