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IPL 2018 WEEK 3: An off-day against DD, but a sweet win vs RCB

Twinkle twinkle little star. You are expecting a battle, but we will give you a war! Around those lines, Kolkata Knight Riders took on Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah  Kotla. The home team played like there was no tomorrow, bagging a 55-run win against us.

Week 3 of VIVO IPL 2018 was hit by one of the biggest news of the season. Gautam Gambhir stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils, reportedly letting go of his Rs. 2.8 crore-pay as well. The responsibility was handed to young Shreyas Iyer, who led the bottom-placed team to the highest score (219/4) of the season in front of a packed Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

We may have lost the match, but it was a huge win for the future of Indian cricket, credit to some inspiring performances from both teams. Prithvi Shaw gave Delhi Daredevils a flying start with his 62 runs knock, that came off just 44 balls before handing over the baton to his young captain, Shreyas Iyer. The newly appointed DD captain showed no signs of nerves in his innings of 93* off just 40 balls. 

A top-order failure gave our knight, Shubman Gill to prove his mettle with the bat for the first time. He didn’t disappoint. And after 77/5, he steadied the chase and built a 64-runs partnership with Andre Russell, before getting run-out at 37 off 29 balls.

The loss against DD was tough to accept. Not because of the result of the match, but because of a rusty performance in all three departments. Something our skipper, Dinesh Karthik pointed out in the press conference as well.

Despite a heavy loss in the previous match, DK trusted the same unit to do the job for the team. Our boys didn’t disappoint their skipper against Royal Challengers Bangalore. At the back of RCB’s poor record in defending totals and KKR’s cent percent record against RCB while chasing, DK had no second thoughts and asked RCB to bat first.

De Villiers-less RCB needed their captain, Virat Kohli to deliver for them. And so he did, 68* off 44 balls! Just like a lone wolf! Our birthday boy, Andre Russell (3/31) meant business on his big day and claims three important scalps in McCullum (38), Vohra (0) and Mandeep (19). RCB posted 175/4 in 20 overs.

While chasing 176, Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine weren't at their best but were good enough to give the best opening partnership (59 runs) for us this season. After the wicket of Narine (27 off 19 balls), Robin Uthappa (36 off 21 balls) took over and gave the extra push to the scoring-rate. All this time, Chris Lynn (62* off 52 balls) was anchoring the ship at the other end. Our Skipper, DK, in the end, made 23 off 10 balls and made the chase a cake walk for Shubman Gill (5* off 2 balls) to finish it with a square cut for four.

Kolkata Knight Riders will take a win and a loss from last week. But what lies ahead is two big matches. One against table-topper Chennai Super Kings, followed by Mumbai Indians, a team with a better record against us. As we are getting closer to playoffs, our Knights will look to come on top and turn their savage mode on.