Kolkata close in on playoffs
Mumbai - West Indian spinner Sunil Narine finished with 4-15 as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Mumbai Indians by 32 runs to virtually ensure an Indian Premier League playoff berth on Wednesday.
Narine took the important wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, while South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis removed the dangerous West Indian pair of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith in successive deliveries for Kolkata to bowl out Mumbai or 108 in 19.1 overs after having scored 140-7.
Kolkata are second behind the Delhi Daredevils in the standings with nine wins, five losses and a no-result, plus a healthy net run rate of +.478 that should be enough to advance. Mumbai are still in contention with nine wins and six losses.
Kolkata's spinners were in control after Narine bowled Tendulkar for 27 with a ball that turned sharply to strike the batsman's thigh and then the stumps. Narine removed Sharma for 12 and also accounted for Harbhajan Singh and Rudra Pratap Singh.
"I'm living a dream at the moment and my hard work is paying off," Narine said. "Hopefully it will continue. I wasn't too worried about the wickets. I knew they would help me but not as much as this."
Earlier, the Kolkata innings was steadied by No 4 batsman Manoj Tiwary's knock of 41.
Mumbai left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh produced two strikes to reduce the visiting side to 6-2 in the second over before Tiwary rescued his team. Singh struck with his second ball when he trapped opener Brendon McCullum lbw and then bowled Kallis in the next ball.
Tiwary hit two sixes and two fours in 43 deliveries but failed to forge a big partnership. Opener Gautam Gambhir was the second highest scorer with a 23-ball 27, while the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan played a relatively restrained knock of a run-a-ball 21.
Kolkata Knight Riders 140-7 (Manoj Tiwary 41, Gautam Gambhir 27; Rudra Pratap Singh 2-33) def. Mumbai Indians 108 in 19.1 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 27; Sunil Narine 4-15, Lakshmipathy Balaji 2-11, Jacques Kallis 2-32).