Kolkata Knight Riders secured a playoff berth with a convincing 18-run win over Mumbai Indians in a rain-truncated IPL fixture at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. This was the ninth win of the season for KKR, which tallied 18 points from 12 matches to remain on top of the standings and secure a place in the playoffs after a break of three seasons.

Kolkata Knight Riders posted a challenging 157 for seven after Mumbai Indians elected to field. With rains forcing the match to start an hour and 45 minutes behind, the game was reduced to 16 overs a side. In reply, Mumbai Indians failed to consolidate on a fine start and ended its chase on 139 for eight.

The Mumbai Indians openers – Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma (coming in as an impact player) – struck a nice partnership and scored 59 in the PowerPlay while tearing apart the KKR pace attack. The KKR spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy put in the break and got rid of the Mumbai Indians opening pair. 


Narine got the vital break while getting Kishan 40 (22 balls, 5×4, 2×6) in the seventh over before Rohit Sharma (19 in 24 balls), who was struggling with his shot-making, departed next to Varun.  Mumbai Indians’ chase lost direction hereafter as the rest of its batting folded up offering little resistance. Tilak Varma put in his bit with a stroke-filled 32 (in 17 balls) but that was not enough to see Mumbai Indians overhauling the target.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians got the ideal start, sending the otherwise explosive KKR opening pair of Sunil Narine and Phil Salt back to the dugout in the first seven balls. Venkatesh Iyer stabilized the KKR innings with a quick-fire 42 (21 balls, 6×4, 2×6) and later on Nitish Rana (33), Andre Russell (24) and Rinku Singh provided a rear charge to take the KKR total past 150.