Karn Sharma registered his best IPL figures © BCCI
Karn Sharma registered his best IPL figures © BCCI

There is a reason why Mumbai Indians (MI) are called the most balanced unit in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. There is a reason why they went on to dominate the league stage. They have a knack of finding heroes in every situation. Maintaining their historical dominance over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), MI, courtesy brilliant spells from Jasprit Bumrah and Karn Sharma dismantled KKR for 107 in the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2017 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. KKR were sent into bat on a dry and slow surface compared to what one witnessed in the Eliminator. The uneven bounce did not help either as KKR slumped to 31 for 5 after 7 overs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 10, Qualifier 2

A 56-run stand between Suryakumar Yadav and Ishank Jaggi brought some respectability to their scorecard. Karn registered his best IPL figures — 4-0-16-4, accounting for the wickets of Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir, Colin de Grandhomme and Ishank Jaggi. Meanwhile, Bumrah finished with 3-1-7-3.

KKR did not spring any surprises with their top order. Chris Lynn and Narine, who had blasted 105 in the Powerplay overs, at the same venue against a hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) earlier this season, were reunited at the top. However, there was no Lynn-sanity tonight, and Rohit deserves every iota of praise for the same. He got Bumrah to open bowling; and pacer responded immediately with Lynn’s wicket.  Rohit had stationed a wide long-on and Lynn found Kieron Pollard there. FOLLOW THE LIVE BLOG

Narine’s stay a little longer. MI employed Karn inside the Powerplay overs despite knowing the damage Narine had inflicted on Samuel Badree earlier in this tournament. Trying to clear long-off, Narine was deceived by a googly and was stumped off Karn in the fifth over.

Uthappa, who started the tournament exhibiting some rich form, managed only a single in KKR’s most crucial game in the contest. He was trapped leg-before off Bumrah in the sixth over — a wicket-maiden. After the Powerplay overs KKR were down in the dumps at 25 for 3. Much worse was in store.

Gambhir greeted Karn in the next over with a trademark inside out boundary but fell 4 balls later, trying to clear deep mid-wicket. Yusuf Pathan had lasted a ball in the Eliminator; de Grandhomme, his replacement, faced a similar fate. Deceived by a googly, he was trapped in the front and it was not a difficult decision-making for Umpire Nigel Llong.

Suryakumar’s scores in this edition read 17, 4, 7, 1, 15, 30*. These numbers do not inspire a lot of confidence. However, he counterattacked to help KKR reach the three-figure mark.

Karn came back to bowl the 15th over where he got the wicket of Jaggi. Jaggi’s wicket triggered another collapse: from 87 for 5 KKR managed another 20 runs from the next four overs and lost the next half of their side.

MI were impressive on the field and the Pandya brothers deserve a special mention for their electrifying efforts. Hardik also held 2 catches.

Earlier, MI won the toss and elected to bat. Rohit reasoned: “With weather in mind, we wanted to chase.” Without a doubt, the D-L Method always favours the side batting second in 20-over cricket. It is always easier to bat with the target in sight. In like-for-like (even first-name-for-first-name) replacement, MI brought in Mitchell Johnson for the injured Mitchell McClenaghan, who was pounded by MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary in his final over in Qualifier 1.

Johnson did not disappoint either, finishing with 28 from his 4 overs and getting the wickets of Piyush Chawla and Nathan Coulter-Nile. In a way it was sweet revenge time for Johnson, who had been slapped for a six by Chawla to finish the IPL 2014 in favour of KKR. Johnson was playing for Kings XI Punjab then. Coulter-Nile, his former teammate at Western Australia, had smacked him for a six the second ball he faced, but Johnson came back well.

KKR had dropped Yusuf and Trent Boult, bringing in de Grandhomme and Ankit Rajpoot.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 107 in 18.5 overs (Ishank Jaggi 28, Suryakumar Yadav 31; Jasprit Bumrah 3 for 7, Karn Sharma 4 for 16) vs Mumbai Indians