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Season VII had started with Kolkata Knight Riders beating defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi by 41 runs. After the big scalp, the Gautam Gambhir-led side was to lose way. But of late, they have regrouped and recorded wins in their last two games. These victories helped them move to the fourth spot with eight points from nine matches. Mumbai, who have won their last game, haven’t really recovered from their poor start.
The men responsible for Kolkata’s timely turnaround have been their openers. Gambhir, in Robin Uttappa’s company, have had partnerships of 121, 106 and 68 in the last three matches. The skipper has led charge with three half-centuries.
Like Kolkata, Mumbai too is celebrating the success of their openers. Lendl Simmons has scored 120 runs in two matches at a strike-rate of 120.45 but Mumbai’s best first wicket partnership still remains a lowly 25 — scored by Ben Dunk and CM Gautam against RCB. That explains why Mumbai have had 5 opening pairs in 9 matches.
The other plus for Kolkata is the presence of wicket-takers in their ranks. Joining Sunil Narine and Morne Morkel on this list is Piyush Chawla. Mumbai only have Lasith Malinga who has 15 wickets at an economy rate of 6.28. Harbhajan Singh, with six Live on Set Max: 8pm