How did KKR's chase fall apart?
After 12 overs, they were going at 9.25 runs an over and needed 8.87 an over to win. With eight wickets in hand, that should have been straightforward. But after losing Robin Uthappa, KKR scored 33 from the next 33 balls and left too much to do in the last two overs. A lot of that was down to intelligent bowling from Mumbai Indians. Hardik Pandya mixed short balls with slower ones and wide yorkers while legspinner Mayank Markande gave the batsmen no room. Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah also bowled short balls to make life difficult for KKR. But from KKR's point of view, there are a couple of worrying trends emerging.
First is Nitish Rana's habit of slowing down as his innings progresses. He strikes at 142.68 in the first 10 balls of his innings, but that drops to 112 from balls 11-20 and 127.59 from balls 21-30. On Sunday, Rana raced to 22 off 11 balls, but then didn't hit a boundary for the rest of his 27-ball innings. In his last 16 balls, he faced seven dots, and his strike rate by the end was only 114.81.
Second: Andre Russell has been dominant in the death while batting first, but he has not yet fired in a chase. He has been striking at 130.67 in chases, compared to 246.67 in the first innings. In the death overs of chases, his strike rate drops to 78.50. Once Rana was out, Dinesh Karthik looked to rotate the strike and stay till the end while Russell went for the big shots, but he did not find his timing against the slower balls from the seamers and Markande's legspin. Russell managed only nine off 10 balls before holing out. He has only batted in four chases, so KKR will hope he can buck the trend.
Short stuff works for Mumbai
If you were listening to the radio commentary of the first few overs of KKR's chase, without context, you would be forgiven for assuming this was a Test match at the WACA in the 1990s rather than a T20 game at the Wankhede. Bumrah, McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya hit the deck and targeted the batsmen's body. The ploy got Chris Lynn to top edge a pull to short fine leg.
As the innings progressed, Mumbai's seamers kept bowling short of a length, often taking the pace off as they dragged the ball in to the pitch. Of the 84 balls they bowled, 69% were short or short of a length. They conceded at 7.75 an over off that length and took three wickets with it. If you take Ben Cutting, whose short balls Uthappa put away, out of the equation, the other three seamers went at just seven an over off short balls.
Why didn't Mumbai send in Cutting?
The sight of Ben Cutting padded up, helmet on, awaiting his turn in the dug out is becoming an emblem of Mumbai Indians' problems this season. They have all these dangerous weapons, but can't seem to find the right moment to use them. Against KKR, Cutting had been ready since Krunal Pandya walked in to bat. But by the time Krunal was dismissed, it was clear Sunil Narine would bowl two of the last four overs. While Cutting strikes at 172.5 against pace, he manages just 118.33 against spin in T20s. And he would be facing one of the best T20 spinners, so Mumbai sent in JP Duminy instead.
Why Narine was held for the death?
For the first time this IPL, Sunil Narine was given two overs at the death. KKR have had their problems in that period - coming in to this game, they were the third most expensive team in the last five overs.
They also had a debutant fast bowler, Prasidh Krishna, and there was always the chance he would have to be protected from the slog overs. KKR captain Dinesh Karthik knew he could have two overs from Mitchell Johnson at the death, but he did not want to bowl Andre Russell then, because he has gone at 12.50 an over in that period. KKR have been getting one over from Piyush Chawla in the death, but against Mumbai there was the chance he would bowl to Krunal, who smashes legspinners at a strike rate of 200-plus. So, if Karthik wanted to give Krishna not more than one in the death, he had to get two from Narine, who ended up conceding 20 and taking a wicket in the last five.
Narine also dismissed Rohit Sharma in his first over to the batsman. Narine had dismissed Rohit six times in 15 innings before this match, so that was clearly a match-up KKR wanted. Had Rohit survived the 12th over, Karthik may have given Narine another over at him, which would have meant changing his death-over plans.