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Spinners shine, but KKR go down by five wickets vs SRH

Kolkata Knight Riders were beaten by an all-round performance from Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens by 5 wickets in the 10th match of VIVO IPL 2018. SRH’s ability to execute the knuckleball and their absolute brilliance on the outfield was the real difference between the two side.

KKR made multiple changes to their squad. Shivam Mavi & Shubman Gill made their debut as they replaced R. Vinay Kumar & Rinku Singh. Mitchell Johnson returned to the side for Tom Curran. More surprises came when our openers came out to bat. Sunil Narine didn’t start for KKR. It was our Vice-Captain Robin Uthappa along with Chris Lynn, who got things underway.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was himself making a comeback for SRH, gave a perfect start to the visiting team and conceded only one run in the first over. It was Chris Lynn who turned things around in the following over and smashed two boundaries against his countryman Billy Stanlake. 

KKR got the first blow in the third over when Uthappa edged one off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling straight to Wriddhiman Saha. Nitish Rana showed his aggressive intention and went straight off the mark with a crushing boundary off Bhuvneshwar’s bowling. Billy Stanlake at the other end, backed-up with a testing over, where Rana had to deal with a sharp bouncer and the two batsmen could manage just two runs off it. 

Our Knight, Chris Lynn continued his aggressive intent and he punished Siddarth Kaul with 3 boundaries in the over that went for 14 runs. Nitish Rana took care of Rashid Khan’s mystery with a glorious slog-sweep six and a square cut for a four. Williamson shuffled his bowling attack and brought Shakib Al Hasan, who didn’t disappoint in his first over conceding just 3 runs. THEN CAME THE RAIN! 

Post the rain break, big Billy resumed with the bowl and straightaway got the wicket of Nitish Rana. A dismissal that has Manish Pandey written all over, who took a screamer at point. SRH showed more control since the resumption, and almost had another wicket in Sunil Narine, with yet another brilliant effort from Manish Pandey at long-on. He saved a certain six, and put the ball in play, but failed to catch it clearly.

Nothing was stopping Lynn in front of the home crowd as he smashed a knuckleball of Kaul in the 10th over for a six, his first in this IPL. Narine’s knock was cut short by Shakib Al Hasan and brought our skipper, Dinesh Karthik to rescue the ship. Former Knight, Shakib wasn’t done yet and took a blinder off his own bowling to remove Chris Lynn at 49 who definitely deserved a fifty.

Fall of wickets continued for KKR, and our last match hero, Andre Russell innings (9) lasted just 5 balls. The debutant, Shubman Gill took a few overs to adjust to the situation, but couldn’t make much difference to KKR’s fate, and got dismissed to the knuckleball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

DK’s resistance ended with another knuckleball by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 19th over. So was KKR’s last ball of the innings with the wicket of Shivam Mavi, and it was Kaul with guess what? Yet another knuckleball. 

SRH were off to a flying start (32 runs in 3 overs) before Narine brought us back in the back. He first got an all-important wicket of Saha and added another to his tally with the scalp of Shikhar Dhawan in the 6th over. 

Getting more wickets was what the team needed and it was Kuldeep Yadav who did the job for his skipper, as he trapped Manish Pandey in front of the wicket. SRH captain, Williamson was going strong at the other end with Shakib Al Hasan. The duo took their time and ended the boundary drought after 43 balls as Williamson punished the left-arm chinaman in the 11th over with two back-to-back boundaries. Russell was brought into the attack and he was taken apart by Shakib Al Hasan with 2 fours and a six in an expensive over that went for 16 runs. 

Shivam Mavi was asked to bowl for the first time in the 15th over, nothing he could do and the over went for 10 runs. He impressed by hitting the 140 kmph mark consistently. Piyush Chawla took the attack from the other end and flourished it with the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan.

With 21 needed off last 18 balls, DK had no other option but to bring his frontline fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson. The Australian ended Kane Williamson’s fine innings, who went for a loose shot and gave KKR another chance to defend the target. But that may have came too late. Yusuf in the last ball of the 19th over pulled one for a six and helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to register their first win at Eden Gardens.

In the loss against SRH, we were 52 for 1 in first seven overs and ended up scoring just 86 at the cost of 7 wickets in the remaining 13 overs, signs of the momentum breaking due to the rain break.Very concerning figure!

Our Knights will next play Delhi Daredevils at Eden Gardens on April 16, 2018. 

Brief Scores:
KKR 138/8 in 20 Overs (Chris Lynn 49, Dinesh Karthik 29, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/26 & Billy Stanlake 2/21) lost to SRH 139/5 in 19 overs (Kane Williamson 50, Shakib Al Hasan 27, Sunil Narine 2/17 & Piyush Chawla 1/20) by 5 wickets