Eoin Morgan's spell as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper started with a comprehensive eight-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday. The MI thus got back to the top of the points table of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). MI’s Quinton de Kock played a major role in the team’s victory with his resounding 78 not out.
After Morgan (39 not out) and Pat Cummins (53 not out) dragged KKR to 148/5, MI chased down the target with more than three overs to spare and eight wickets in hand.
Captain Rohit Sharma (35) and his opening partner Quinton de Kock (78 not out) put up an opening partnership of 94 runs within the first 11 overs that all but took away any slim chances KKR were nursing to pull off an improbable victory.
After Rohit fell to Shivam Mavi (1/24) and Varun Chakravarthy (1/23) dismissed Suryakumar Yadav (10), Hardik Pandya accelerated the process for MI. Hardik smashed 21 off 11 balls and his unbeaten 38-run stand with de Kock took MI over the line.
Earlier, MI pacers Trent Boult (1/32), Jasprit Bumrah (1/22) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (1/51) all took a wicket each while spinner Rahul Chahar (2/18) took two wickets off consecutive balls in the eighth over to peg back KKR.
It was Cummins and Morgan's partnership that took the tottering innings close to the 150-run mark. The pair put up 87 for the sixth wicket.
Earlier on Friday, the KKR management announced that Dinesh Karthik has recommended that captaincy be handed over to Eoin Morgan, England's World Cup Winning captain. Dinesh Karthik had reportedly told that he wanted to concentrate on his batting in the team and hence decided to pass the baton on.
Brief scores: KKR 148/5 in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 53 not out, Eoin Morgan 39 not out; Rahul Chahar 2/18) vs MI 149/2 in 16.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 78 not out, Rohit Sharma 35; Varun Chakravarthy 1/23)