Kochi, Mumbai win in low-scoring thrillers
Kochi Tuskers Kerala pulled off a stunning six-run win against favourites Kolkata Knight Riders in a thrilling Indian Premier League match on Wednesday.
Ravindra Jadeja struck an 18-ball 29 with three sixes and a four to take Kochi to 132-7 before Kolkata were restricted to 126-9 off 20 overs on a slow Eden Gardens track.
In the other match of the day, Mumbai Indians rode on a clinical effort by their bowlers to hand a seven-wicket thrashing to Pune Warriors and register their third win in four matches.
Kolkata, leading the points table before this match, lost quick wickets in their chase and could never recover from the early setbacks despite a fighting 46-run knock by Manoj Tiwary.
Jadeja impressed with the ball as well, picking up two wickets including the key scalp of Tiwary.
It was Kolkata’s second defeat from five outings and Kochi’s third win from as many games.
Spinners Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan earlier shared six wickets after Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to field.
New Zealand star Brendon McCullum (23) and Mahela Jayawardene (25) gave Kochi a steady start, putting on 49 runs for the opening wicket.
It was Bangladesh left-arm spinner Shakib who gave Kolkata a key breakthrough when he had McCullum caught by Eoin Morgan while Pathan accounted for Jayawardene, Brad Hodge and Parthiv Patel in quick succession.
In Mumbai, Munaf Patel grabbed three wickets for eight runs while Ali Murtaza and Abu Nechim took two apiece to bowl out Pune for 118 in 17.2 overs before Mumbai overhauled the target off the last ball.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar scored a fine 35 off 39 balls and shared 74 runs for the second wicket with Ambati Rayudu (37) to set the platform for the chase.
Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds (16 not out) hit two fours in the 18th over and Rohit Sharma (20 not out) brought off the winning runs with a six to give Mumbai their third victory in four matches.
Pune failed to bat out 20 overs despite a 45-run knock by Robin Uthappa who perished to a blinder of a catch by West Indian Kieron Pollard.
It was the second defeat for the IPL debutants in four games.
Pune Warriors 118 all out in 17.2 overs (R. Uthappa 45; M. Patel 3-8, Abu Nechim 2-13, Ali Murtaza 2-18, L. Malinga 2-28) lost to Mumbai Indians 124-3 in 20 overs (A. Rayudu 37, S. Tendulkar 35) by seven wickets.
Kochi Tuskers Kerala 132-7 in 20 overs (R. Jadeja 29, M. Jayawardene 25; Yusuf Pathan 3-20, Shakib al Hasan 3-28) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 126-9 (M. Tiwary 46; R.P. Singh 2-25, R. Jadeja 2-25) by six runs.
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