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Mumbai Indians trump Kolkata to reignite IPL title defence

The defending champions started with a loss last week but their title defence seems to be back on track for now

Rahul Chahar, third from right, of Mumbai Indians celebrates the wicket of Shubman Gill of Kolkata Knight Riders during Indian Premier League 2021 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai, on Tuesday. (PTI)

Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians put their Indian Premier League title defence back on track on Tuesday night by beating the Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs.

Mumbai, who lost their opener last week, defended a modest total of 152 and then kept Kolkata to just 142 for seven to seal the win in Chennai.

Kolkata seemed to be cruising at 122-3 in the 15th over but Nitish Rana's departure after his 47-ball 57 triggered a Mumbai fightback.

Mumbai Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar claimed four wickets while New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult took two.

"I knew if anybody could change the game here, it would be a spinner," said man of the match Chahar.

Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya also stood out with the key wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, for nine, and gave away just 13 runs from his fours overs.

"Anyone who came to bowl at different stages wanted to put their hands up and do something for the team," Sharma said after the victory. "We can take a lot of confidence from this game. There were lots of positives."

Kolkata's fall came after a 72-run opening stand between Rana, who had scored 80 in his team's opening win on Sunday, and Shubman Gill, who made 33.

Also read: IPL 2021: Fans gear up to become the virtual 12th man

Shubman Gill of Kolkata Knight Riders plays a shot during an Indian Premier League 2021 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai, on Tuesday.
Shubman Gill of Kolkata Knight Riders plays a shot during an Indian Premier League 2021 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai, on Tuesday. (PTI)

The rest of the Kolkata batsmen failed to make it into double digits, prompting the team's Bollywood actor owner Shah Rukh Khan to apologise to his fans.

"Disappointing performance. to say the least @KKRiders apologies to all the fans!" he wrote on Twitter.

Mumbai's bowling effort overshadowed a five-wicket haul by Kolkata pace bowler Andre Russell. Russell made an impact after being brought on to bowl in the 18th over of the Mumbai innings and struck twice including the key wicket of fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard for five. He then got three wickets in four deliveries of the 20th over to dismiss Mumbai on the final ball.

Sunrisers Hyderabad, led by Australian David Warner, will take on Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Wednesday. Mumbai's next opponents, meanwhile, will be Warner and his team as they will go head to head in Chennai on Saturday, 17 April.

Also read: The shameful neglect of India's women's cricket team

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