Mumbai Indians won their last home game of this season by getting the better of Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. This win has also taken the three-time winners to the summit of the points table. Just like the other games, even this match which was the final one of the league stages witnessed a lot of memorable moments which included some stellar batting performances, incredible catches and a special dedication from Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma to his little daughter Samaira after playing a match-winning knock and taking his team over the line. Nonetheless, there was one more feature from this game which was also equally important as it turned out to be the game-changer. This moment belonged to veteran Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga who had bowled an outstanding delivery to get rid off a dangerous Andre Russell for a golden duck.
It happened in the 13th over of KKR's innings. On the previous delivery, Malinga had accounted for KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik. With KKR in a spot of bother at 72/3, the big West Indian power-hitter walked out to bat with the intention of making the most of the Wankhede wicket. However, Malinga had other plans for him. The 35-year old first bowled a wide bouncer which ended up adding a precious run in KKR's tally. In the very next delivery, he pitched the ball short as the Caribbean all-rounder tried to avoid the ball. However, he was very unlucky on this occasion as the ball made contact with his gloves and went straight into the hands of Quinton de Kock who did not make any mistake behind the stumps. An appeal was made and umpire raised his finger as the Dre-Russ code was cracked and KKR sank into further trouble. It was also the first single-digit score for Andre Russell this season but unfortunately, it happened on the most important occasion.
The video of Malinga getting the better of Russell was posted on Twitter. Watch it here.
KKR's innings lost its momentum after Karthik and Russell's dismissals in the same over. Robin Uthappa then scored a 47-ball 40 which took the visitors to 133/7 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Mumbai got to the target without breaking a sweat riding on Rohit Sharma's stellar knock of an unbeaten 48-ball 55.
Kolkata Knight Riders were thus knocked out of the tournament as they needed to win this game for making it to the playoffs. KKR's loss meant that Sunrisers Hyderabad became the fourth team to secure a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians will lock horns against Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.