Kolkata: Ricky Ponting dropped himself in favour of Mitchell Johnson and it worked as Mumbai Indians put in a vastly improved performance to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in the Pepsi IPL at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday (April 24) night. The win was Mumbai's fourth in seven games while Kolkata, the defending champions, slumped to their fifth defeat in seven matches.
After Kolkata posted a competitive 159 for 6 upon choosing to bat, Mumbai replied with 162 for 5, Ambati Rayudu bringing up the winning boundary with a ball to spare. (Stats from the match)
The wisdom of opening the bowling with an offspinner, Harbhajan Singh, against Yusuf Pathan was unfathomable and Pathan made the most of the unexpected gift. The boundary off the first delivery was streaky, edged past slip, but then came two swept fours and a six over long-on. The next ball was taken for a single but it was off a no-ball and Gautam Gambhir sent the Free Hit for a six over midwicket. (Also see: Match in pics)
In all, 26 came off that over and though Pathan fell soon after, caught by Harbhajan at slip off Johnson, Gambhir and Jacques Kallis kept things going, the fifty of the innings coming up in 4.1 overs. Things changed once Pragyan Ojha came into the picture, so much so that the 41-run partnership between Gambhir and Kallis took up 41 balls. As the pressure built, Ojha accounted for both. Gambhir sent an outside-edge to cover after being beaten in the flight and Kallis, dropped by Johnson when on 22, holed out in trying to up the ante.