West Indian spinner Sunil Narine finished with 4-15 as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Mumbai Indians by 32 runs to virtually ensure an Indian Premier League 2012 playoff berth on Wednesday.
The visitors, put into bat, made just 140-7 but their spinners strangled the Mumbai batsmen on a a pitch offering turn and bounce to dismiss them for 108 in 19.1 overs with Sachin Tendulkar the top-scorer with 27 off 24 balls.
Left-arm spinners Shakib-al-Hasan (1-25) and Iqbal Abdulla (1-22) justified their inclusion in the side while off-spinner Sunil Narine continued his good run claiming 4-15 in 3.1 overs to earn the Purple Cap.
Pacer L Balaji took 2-11 in his four overs and Jacques Kallis hammered in the final nails in the coffin with 2-32.
Mumbai began the chase in their customary sedate fashion making 26 runs and losing Herschelle Gibbs (13 off 24) off the final ball of the sixth over.
But the much-needed impetus never came for the hosts as Narine cleaned up Sachin Tendulkar (27 off 24) with a ball that came in sharply and took the leg stump.
Six runs later, Mumbai were 66-3 in the 13th over as Dinesh Karthik pulled Balaji to Pathan at fine leg before Rohit Sharma (12 off 14) and Ambati Rayudu (11 off 8) added 17 runs.
With the asking rate climbing higher every over, Rayudu charged down to Shakib in the 16th over and was smartly stumped by Brendon McCullum and 13 runs later, Mumbai’s chased suffered a major blow when Kallis dismissed Kieron Pollard (8 off 5) and Dwayne Smith off successive deliveries.
Narine then returned in the next over to send back Harbhajan Singh (1 off 2) and Sharma and got rid of RP Singh in the final over to seal the win after Balaji had dismissed Lasith Malinga (8 off 6) in the penultimate over.
Kolkata would not have expected to win by such a margin after managing a below-par total thanks to some good display of pace bowling from Munaf Patel (1-17), Rp Singh (2-33), Kieron Pollard (1-20) and Dwayne Smith (1-8).
Manoj Tiwary was the top-scorer with 41 off 43 balls while Gautam Gambhir made 27 off 23 balls and Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten on 21 from as many balls.
The win takes Kolkata to 19 points from 15 games, a tally that can take them to the play-offs unless results in other matches go against them and a win in their final game will definitely secure their qualification.
Mumbai are on 18 points and need to win their last game to ensure qualification without having to worry about net run rates.