KKR let top-two chance slip away against Mumbai

Kolkata Knight Riders threw away a top-two finish in the Indian Premier League as they fell to a nine-run defeat at the hands of table-topping Mumbai Indians.

Victory would have guaranteed at least second place and therefore two chances in the end-of-season play-offs to reach this year's final.

And, with 25 needed from the final three overs and Manish Pandey well set on 33, KKR were clear favourites to prevail at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

But Pandey fell to the first ball of the 18th over, his team-mates only able to add another 15 runs as they finished 164-8 in reply to Mumbai's 173-5.

Pandey's run-a-ball innings represented the hosts' best effort, whereas earlier in the piece Saurabh Tiwary (52 from 43 balls) and Ambati Rayudu (63 from 37) had given Mumbai the impetus they needed.

Mumbai finish the regular season with 10 wins from their 14 outings, and will enjoy the comforts of familiar surroundings at Wankhede Stadium when they face either Sunrisers Hyderabad or Rising Pune Supergiant in the qualifier on Tuesday.

KKR, by contrast, will have to go through an eliminator before they can think of facing the loser of the qualifier for a place in the final.

Tiwary showed few signs of rust in his first outing of the season, striking nine fours in his stay before he was run out by Umesh Yadav.

By that stage he had already added 61 with Rayudu, who thrashed six fours and three sixes - one of which, a flick over square leg off Trent Boult - brought up his fifty.

In reply, KKR failed to gain any real momentum with Chris Lynn, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Colin de Grandhomme all getting out in the 20s and, after Pandey departed to Hardik Pandya (2-22), KKR fell away to leave their play-off campaign looking much more complicated.

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