Quinton de Kock outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders with his batting masterclass as Mumbai Indians cruised to their sixth victory in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Kolkata were indebted to Pat Cummins’ maiden Twenty20 half century in reaching 148-5 after the team seemingly headed towards yet another collapse. Mumbai reached the target in just 16.2 overs replying with 149-2.
The victory meant Mumbai once again climbed to the top of the table leapfrogging Delhi Capitals on net run rate after tying on 12 points each. Royal Challengers Bangalore are third with 10 points, while Kolkata were unmoved at fourth with eight.
The Kolkata victory benefitted Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals who have six points in the board with just run rate separating the three sides. All the teams are still in the mix to reach the playoffs with only Kings XI Punjab (four points) needing some tough job to be done.
Mumbai’s easy victory was all about De Kock’s flawless innings as the South African reached his half century in no time without any slog hitting. He perfectly timed his eight boundaries and two sixes against Kolkata first bowlers while reaching the third half century of the tournament.
De Kock gave Mumbai a solid start adding 94 runs for the first wicket with skipper Rohit Sharma inside 11 overs. Sharma chipped in 35 off 36 with five fours and two sixes.
After Sharma and Surya Kumar Yadav departed in quick succession, De Kock and Hardik Pandya (21 off 11) collected 38 runs in 20 deliveries to hasten for the victory. De Kock remained unbeaten on 78 from 44 deliveries smashing nine fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Mumbai made the most of their potent bowling attack restricting them to 61-5 inside 11 overs. Andre Russell was the big wicket who was left clueless with a bouncer that came into him and hit the bat for a simple catch to De Kock. Rahul Chahar bowled miserly conceding just 18 runs and picking up two wickets.
Skipper Eoin Morgan, who took over the captaincy from Dinesh Kartik on Friday, spared the Kolkata blues with Cummins following an unbroken 87-run partnership. Cummins hit a 36-ball 53 with five fours and two sixes. Morgan scored 39 off 29 with two sixes and as many boundaries.