By Jamie Alter
Mumbai: May 25, 2011
A well-paced half-century from Ryan ten Doeschate separated Kolkata Knight Riders from a sub-standard total at the Wankhede Stadium after Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and opted to insert the visiting team. Munaf Patel hustled the batsmen to grab three wickets, the fielders held their catches and hit the stumps, and for much of the innings Mumbai Indians dominated proceedings. Ten Doeschate’s first major contribution of the season lifted KKR from 20 for four to 147 for seven, and the bowlers will need to be equally brilliant to stave off exit from the competition.
KKR were hurt early in the piece by the loss of their openers, Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir. Kallis, after playing a blistering cover drive for four off Munaf, repeated the shot but was foxed into chipping a catch toward mid-off where Tendulkar plucked a good catch. Gambhir rushed out to welcome Harbhajan Singh with a four over the covers, but fell to the same bowler attempting an ambitious slog-sweep.
There was more to follow. Sreevats Goswami wafted at Munaf and was caught behind for 0, and when Dhawal Kulkarni rapped Manoj Tiwary’s pads in the sixth over KKR had slumped to 20 for four.
Ten Doeschate provided some momentum, first hooking James Franklin for six and then assaulting Kieron Pollard in a 15-run 11th over with a rasping cut and a heave over mid-on for six more. This stirred Yusuf Pathan, who clubbed straight fours off Pollard and Harbhajan to improve his sagging strike rate, but his aggression was to be his undoing. Having been twice tested by short deliveries from Munaf, Pathan miscued an attempted flat-batted hack to Pollard in the deep.
Ten Doeschate judged his singles and doubles well and was quick to punish ordinary deliveries. Hit shots off the pads stood out for their crispness, and his ability to swing over the circle was also handy. A plucky 26 from Shakib Al Hasan helped KKR add 41 in 25 balls, but that one big over required never materialized. KKR managed just three fours and a six in the final four overs, with ten Doeschate finishing on 70 off 49 balls.
Brief Scores: KKR 147 for 7 in 20 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 70*, Yusuf Pathan 26, Shakib Al Hasan 26; Munaf Patel 3 for 27) v MI
(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. He is the author of two books, The History of World Cup Cricket and Field of Dreams: The Story of the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)