Swashbuckling batsman Quinton de Kock hammered a quick-fire knock of 78 runs to power defending champions Mumbai Indians to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 32 of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Chasing a par total of 149 runs to win, Mumbai Indians easily crossed the mark with 19 balls to spare.
Skipper-cum-opener Rohit Sharma (35) and his opening partner Quinton de Kock provided a perfect start to the Mumbai franchise by stitching a crucial stand of 94 runs for the first wicket.
After Sharma fell off a Shivam Muvi delivery in the 11th over, Suryakumar Yadav followed his skipper back to the pavilion soon after being clean bowled by Varun Chakravarthy for 10 runs in the 14th over.
De Kock then joined forces with Hardik Pandya (11-ball 21) to guide MI to a crushing win. The South African finished with an unbeaten knock of 78 off 44 balls which included nine boundaries and three sixes.
En route to his knock, De Kock also brought up his third fifty of the IPL 2020 off 25 deliveries.
Earlier, Pat Cummins notched up a crucial knock of 53 runs off 36 deliveries while coming to bat at No.7 spot to help KKR post a score of 148 for five after opting to bat first.
Meanwhile, new KKR skipper Eoin Morgan contributed with an unbeaten knock of 39 runs off 29 balls while the other batsmen struggled against the Mumbai bowlers.Dinesh Karthik, who stood down the captain of the KKR just a few hours before the clash, fell cheaply for four runs.
Rahul Chahar bagged two wickets for Mumbai Indians, while Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile chipped in with a wicket each.
With the victory, MI have reclaimed the top spot in the IPL 2020 standings with six wins from eight matches. KKR continue to stand at the fourth place with four victories in hand.
Brief scores: KKR 148/5 in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 53 not out, Eoin Morgan 39 not out; Rahul Chahar 2/18) beat MI 149/2 in 16.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 78 not out, Rohit Sharma 35; Varun Chakravarthy 1/23) by 8 wickets