KKR shown the door
The second match in the playoffs also turned out to be a thriller with the match going down to the last over. Kolkata Knight Riders who put their best performance in the IPL so far, went down with a fight to a clinical yet 'inconsistent at times' Mumbai team [SCORECARD].
Kolkata batting first got off to the worst start possible as they lost both Gambhir and Kallis within the third over. Things just got worse as the Mumbai bowlers started to strangle KKR and by the end of the powerplays found themselves at 20 for 4 with still a long way to go. Ryan ten Doeschate along with Yusuf Pathan then reconstructed the innings. Ryan ten Doeschate once again proved his worth with a quality 50. He paced his innings wonderfully and I'm sure if he was an English, he'd be in the ODI squad for sure. KRR eventually finished with 147 thanks largely to ten Doeschate.
147 on a flat pitch was never ever going to be enough. But KKR is a team lead by Gambhir whose playing style and captaincy is not what one would term inspired or regale but rather gritty and firm. Likewise the KKR team decided to make the best of the scenario and fought till the last minute. MI got off to a splendid start and with Blizzard and Sachin on song, the match looked all over. But KKR fought back pegging Mumbai back with some quick wickets. James Franklin yet again had a role to play and yet again he saw his team through against KRR. So now with that Harbhajan's six, Mumbai face Bangalore tomorrow in the 2nd qualifier for that spot in the finals.
Interesting isn't it that the same three teams as last year, qualify this year for the Champions League? Does that mean these three are IPL's better teams?