IPL 2023: Rana, Suryakumar pick Piyush Chawla’s spell as differentiator in Mumbai’s five-wicket win over KKR

On a day when Venkatesh Iyer blazed to a 49-ball century; Ishan Kishan hammered a fifty off 21 balls and Suryakumar Yadav smacked a 25-ball 43, veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla bowled the most economical spell, conceding 19 runs in his four overs and picking one wicket.

Rival captains Nitish Rana of Kolkata Knight Riders and Suryakumar Yadav standing in for Rohit Sharma for Mumbai Indians picked Chawla’s thrifty bowling as the differentiator as Mumbai Indians romped to a five-wicket victory against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Sunday.

It was the first afternoon start for Mumbai Indians at Fortress Wankhede in IPL 2023 and they made the most of this opportunity to register their second successive victory in four matches. Venkatesh Iyer had given KKR a superb start with a belligerent knock of 104 off 51 balls during which he hammered six fours and nine sixes. But the rest of the batters failed to support him as the Knight Riders were restricted to 185/6 in 20 overs. Andre Russell was the second-highest scorer with 22 not out.

It was mainly the 34-year-old former India star Chawla’s economical bowling that helped Mumbai Indians put KKR batters under pressure. After restricting KKR to 185/6 in 20 overs, Mumbai Indians chased the target with 14 balls remaining to win the match by 5 wickets.

“I think we were 15-20 runs short. Credit to PC bhai (Piyush Chawla) for the way he bowled. I feel quite bad for Venky (Venkatesh Iyer). You play so well, score a century in a day game in Mumbai and you end up on the losing side. I feel bad for him. If our best bowlers are going for runs, there’s not much to say,” said KKR skipper Rana after the match.

Suryakumar Yadav too pointed to Chawla’s bowling beside the blazing start provided by Ishan Kishan as the reason for his team’s victory. Kishan hammered a 25-ball 58 and with Rohit Sharma (20) helped Mumbai Indians race to 72/1 in Power-play that laid the foundation for their victory.

“It was a legendary spell [Piyush Chawla]. He put his hand up under pressure,” Suryakumar said after the match.

“At the Wankhede, in day games, 160-170 is a good score but (Ishan) Kishan got us off to a great start. I took my time in the first five-seven balls and thought if I could get my eye in I could get a score. We know that if the top order gives a good start, what kind of firepower do we have lower down the order,” said the Mumbai Indians’ stand-in skipper.

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