IPL

In-form De Kock cuts loose to send Mumbai Indians top

By Sports Desk October 16, 2020

Quinton de Kock blasted another half-century as Mumbai Indians cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders to go top of the Indian Premier League. 

De Kock had earlier been left red-faced when he dropped Pat Cummins on 36 and the Australia paceman went on to make his maiden IPL half-century on Friday. 

An unbroken stand of 87 between Cummins (53 not out) and new captain Eoin Morgan (39no) got KKR up to 148-5 in Abu Dhabi. 

Rahul Chahar was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with 2-18 and it was South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock who played the biggest hand with the bat. 

The left-hander smashed an unbeaten 78 off 44 balls to get the defending champions home with 19 balls to spare, sealing a sixth win in eight games. 

De Kock has now made three half-centuries in his last four innings, although he did have a bit of fortune when Varun Chakravarthy missed a tough chance to send him on his way for 20. 

Rohit Sharma made a slow 35 by his usual standards in an opening partnership of 94, while Hardik Pandya weighed in with a brisk 21 not out. 

Victory for Mumbai moves them to the summit, level on points with Delhi Capitals, while the Knight Riders are fourth. 

 

CHAHAR DOUBLE STRIKE JOLTS KKR AT START OF MORGAN REIGN

Kolkata announced on the day of the game that Dinesh Karthik had handed over the captaincy to England's white-ball skipper Morgan. 

Morgan opted to bat after winning the toss and might have been wondering if that was the right call when his side were 61-5 after Jasprit Bumrah removed Andre Russell. 

The excellent Chahar had Shubman Gill caught at long-on and Karthik played the next ball on, so it was left for Morgan and Cummins to come to the rescue. 

Cummins and Morgan both struck two sixes as they produced a much-needed late flurry of runs, Nathan Coulter-Nile (1-51) proving to be particularly expensive.

DE KOCK STARS IN RUN CHASE 

The destructive De Kock produced another devastating exhibition of clean striking, moving into the top 10 in the list of the highest run-scorers in the 2020 edition of the IPL. 

He was the chief aggressor in the opening partnership with Rohit, who faced 36 deliveries. 

De Kock struck two of his three maximums in a costly seventh over from Prasidh Krishna, also hitting nine fours in another high-quality knock. 

The 27-year-old has 269 runs in the tournament at an average of 38.42 and, on this evidence, there may be plenty more to come. 

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