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Cricket | IPL

Karn Sharma © SuperSport

Mumbai ease into final after KKR rout



The Mumbai Indians advanced to Sunday's Indian Premier League final against the Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad, after Friday's comfortable six-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Bangalore.

Full Scorecard: Mumbai v Kolkata

A near sellout crowd expected a highly contested Qualifier 2, but instead witnessed a low-scoring, one-sided affair - largely due to the severe batting inadequacies of Kolkata's kingpins against Mumbai's relatively new-look bowling attack.

Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma's decision to bowl at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, renowned for short dimensions and large totals, was brave, but brought due reward - and saw the opposition restricted to 107 all out in 18.5 overs.

Selected ahead of veteran offspinner Harbhajan Singh, young legspinner Karn Sharma cherished superb figures of 4-16. Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, meanwhile, replaced the injured Mitchell McClenaghan - and collected a telling haul of 2-28.

The homegrown Jasprit Bumrah, who surprisingly opened the bowling alongside Johnson ahead of Sri Lanka pace ace Lasith Malinga, repaid the faith by completing an entirely economical spell of 3-7 in three overs.

Kolkata's score would have read substantially less, too, had the lesser-known Ishank Jaggi and Suryakumar Yadav not contributed a rearguard 56 inside eight overs for the sixth wicket. Yadav scored 31 to Jaggi's 28.

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The Knight Riders desperately required the counter-attack, after star quartet Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa collectively managed a mere 27. Kolkata, in fact, lost wickets two, three, four and five for a mere seven runs.

Mumbai's modest pursuit was briefly troubled by the early departures of openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel.

The latter was masterful in manipulating seamer Umesh Yadav and the attacking field placements.

But Yadav had the proverbial last laugh, dismissing the diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman with some additional bounce.

The Knight Riders hoped the seasoned Piyush Chawla would enjoy the same success as fellow legspinner Karn, but initial breakthroughs soon took an expensive backseat in the 11th over, which cost 16.

Rohit and allrounder Krunal Pandya, indeed, seized command - and amassed a 54-run alliance inside seven overs.

Sharma refused to allow Narine to dictate proceedings en route to 26 from 24 deliveries, while Pandya's 42 not out in 30 exploited seamer Ankit Rajpoot's rather ineffective lines and lengths.

Pandya and big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard, then, were ultimately on hand to usher in the final runs - and ensure triumph will all of 33 deliveries to spare.

Mumbai will chase a third crown at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday, after outdoing the now-defunct Chennai Super Kings in 2013 and 2015's final.

Pune, who finished second last in 2016, will seek a maiden title.


MUMBAI INDIANS: LMP Simmons, PA Patel (wk), RG Sharma (capt), AT Rayudu, KA Pollard, HH Pandya, KH Pandya, MG Johnson, KV Sharma, JJ Bumrah, SL Malinga

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: RV Uthappa (wk), CA Lynn, G Gambhir (capt), IR Jaggi, SA Yadav, PP Chawla, SP Narine, UT Yadav, AS Rajpoot, NM Coulter-Nile, C de Grandhomme



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