Venkatesh Iyer’s first T20 century came in vain as Mumbai Indians defeated KKR by 5 wickets for their second straight victory in the IPL 2023 with to Ishan Kishan’s powerplay blitz and a spectacular Suryakumar Yadav performance. After being put in to bat in the sweltering heat of Mumbai on Sunday afternoon, Venkatesh smashed a 49-ball century—the second one for KKR in the league’s 16-season history—to lead them to a solid 185/6. However, MI romped home with 14 deliveries to spare because of Kishan’s scorching half-century up front and cameos from their acting skipper and Tim David.
Venkatesh favors KKR by utilizing powerplay
The powerplay appeared to be going MI’s way after rookie Arjun Tendulkar began with a five-run over and Cameron Green struck with the new ball to remove N Jagadeesan for a duck. Add to that Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s easy dismissal in the sixth by Piyush Chawla’s first-over strike. However, in between the two wickets of their openers, KKR launched a comeback thanks to Venkatesh, who drove Tendulkar off the attack with a four and a six before punishing Green in a similar manner. He then added a 16-run over off the other MI debutant, Duan Jansen, to his 13- and 14-run overs.
KKR’s one-man show
It was Venkatesh’s chanceless knock that kept KKR in the game the entire time while other batters failed to get going, with the exception of a difficult catch shelled in the deep when he was on 83. All of KKR’s fours and sixes up to Shardul Thakur’s boundary off of Jansen in the 12th over had come from Venkatesh’s bat.
He was only unable to dismiss experienced leggie Chawla, who concluded with outstanding figures of 1 for 19. After Brendon McCullum’s 158 on the IPL opening night in 2008, Venkatesh’s half-century came off just 23 balls as he attacked MI’s pacers. The 49-ball first T20 century was the only century ever hit for KKR.
He hit nine sixes for amusement as he led the hosts on a leather hunt throughout the park. After attempting a reverse scoop off Riley Meredith and being tamely caught at short third after a superb 104 that kept KKR in the game, Venkatesh eventually perished while attempting to gather some cheeky runs. With 16 balls remaining in the innings when he exited, KKR was able to score 26 more runs thanks to a cameo from Andre Russell that was worth 21* (11 balls).
The foundation is laid by Ishan Kishan
With his early blitz, Kishan made sure MI’s pursuit of 186 got off to the greatest possible start. In fact, MI scored 72/1, their biggest powerplay total of the year, with the Southpaw hitting 45* (18 balls) on his own. With 4, 4, and 6 to make it a 14-run over, Kishan pounced on Shardul Thakur’s offer of breadth. Umesh Yadav let up 17 runs in his second over, including sixes to both of MI’s openers. Kishan then destroyed Sunil Narine for six in the fourth over, bringing the team’s total to fifty.
While the required run rate was initially just over 9, the hosts were going more than 11 per over during the powerplay. Regular captain Rohit Sharma produced only 20 of that 65-run opening stand, while Kishan went on to bring his 21-ball fifty. Rohit Sharma was declared out at toss due to a stomach virus but was subsequently discovered among their Impact Subs. In the end, Varun Chakravarthy triumphed over him, but not before the opener had established a strong foundation and significantly reduced the asking rate.
Retro SKY is back
The on-air commentator screamed, “SKY is back,” as the substitute captain for Mumbai dispatched a fuller ball from Lockie Ferguson with a pick-up flick well over deep midwicket. Suryakumar, who had earlier dragged the bouncer to the fine leg stands, hit his second consecutive six with this one. The next target was Andre Russell, who had his spell’s opening 17-run over chopped for a six and a four. Suryakumar’s burst of 43 off just 25 had made that MI was never threatened in the remainder of their chase, even as Suyash Sharma, in the middle of an amazing session of 2-27, managed to stop his 60-run stand with Tilak Varma (30 off 25).
On Thursday, April 20, KKR will go to the capital to play the Delhi Capitals, while Mumbai will travel to Hyderabad for their match against the SRH on Tuesday.