Abu Dhabi was the venue for the Kolkata Knight Riders to start their IPL 2020 campaign as they took on the Mumbai Indians, who were still smarting from their loss to Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener.
Having won the toss, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik opted to field, a decision that his Mumbai counterpart Rohit Sharma would make him rue.
Kolkata began with the pace pair of Sandeep Warrier and Shivam Mavi and were soon rewarded with the wicket of Quinton de Kock in the second over itself.
However, Mumbai shrugged off the loss of their opener as Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav effortlessly got the scoreboard ticking. Yadav hit four boundaries off his first six balls, which allowed his skipper to get settled in at the other end.
It became the Rohit-show as soon as KKR introduced the most expensive buy in IPL history, Pat Cummins (bought by Kolkata for INR 15.5 crore) into the attack. Two sixes in the very first over that Cummins bowled to Sharma meant that the Mumbai skipper had found his flow and together with Yadav, struck up a 90-run stand.
Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav managed to tighten up the bowling a bit and KKR’s cause was also helped when in the 11th over, Suryakumar was run out for 47 off 28 balls.
Rohit Sharma’s 80 off 54 balls as well as useful cameos by Saurabh Tiwary (21 off 13 balls), Hardik Pandya (18 off 13 balls) and Kieron Pollard (13* off 7 balls) meant Mumbai added 90 runs in the last eight overs, finishing with a total of 195/5 in 20 overs.
KKR’s batsmen had no reply to Mumbai’s pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson.
Within the first five overs Boult and Pattinson had sent both the Kolkata openers back to the pavilion with a score of just 25 on the board.
Rohit Sharma brought in Pollard, Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya to get some overs out of them and was rewarded for his thinking.
Karthik, batting at number 3, managed to add 30 runs to the score, when he was dismissed LBW to Chahar - KKR 71/3 after 10.1 overs.
Nitish Rana was gone the next over, dismissed by Pollard for 24 off 18 balls.
That brought the potentially dangerous combination of Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell to the middle and immediately Rohit got his pace trio activated yet again.
Russell did not last long before he was bowled by Bumrah for a run-a-ball 11.
Bumrah then sent Morgan packing in the very same over - KKR 101/6 in 15.4 overs at this point.
Cummins, who had had a miserable outing with the ball with figures of 0/49 in 3 overs, seemed to be far more comfortable with the bat.
With four sixes off a Bumrah over, Cummins’s knock of 33 off 12 balls was not enough to hand KKR a win but made sure that the margin of defeat was a little smaller.
Kolkata eventually finished at 146/9 after 20 overs with Bumrah, Boult and Pattinson picking up 2 wickets apiece. Mumbai Indians winning the match by 49 runs.
Rohit Sharma was named Man of the Match.