Nitish Rana’s rescue act scoring a 34-ball 57 was not enough as Kolkata Knight Riders lost to Delhi Capitals by four wickets at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
Defending 146, Umesh Yadav struck off the first delivery of the innings taking an athletic diving catch off his bowling to send back Prithvi Shaw and Harshit Rana, on IPL debut, struck with his third delivery to dismiss Mitchell Marsh in the second over.
David Warner hit a 26-ball 42 and upped the ante but Yadav struck twice and Narine accounted for Lalit Yadav (22) in the middle-overs that saw the Capitals lose three wickets for two runs in the space of 10 balls at the halfway stage. Rovman Powell swung the momentum back in their favour as he saw out the chase with an over to spare with an unbeaten 16-ball 33 hitting a four and three sixes.
Yadav was the pick of the KKR bowlers with figures of 4-0-24-3 and Sunil Narine bowled with his typical consistency at an economy of 4.75.
"We need to stick together, play some fearless cricket, not be conservative with the bat," Iyer said after the game. "Five more matches remaining, we need to play well, show belief and give something back to the team and the management, forget about the past, start fresh and back your instinct."
Earlier in the day, the Knight Riders were inserted to bat and brought in IPL debutants Baba Indrajith and Harshit Rana alongside Aaron Finch. After posting the third-lowest power-play score this season (29-2) and managing just three boundaries off the first ten overs, the Knight Riders recovered from a precarious 83-6 to post a competitive 146-9 on the board.
After losing four wickets for just 35 runs, Shreyas Iyer, playing his 50th IPL match as captain, dropped the anchor and put on a 48-run partnership with Nitish Rana. Iyer was dismissed in the fourteenth over edging a wide rank long hop to a leaping Rishabh Pant behind the stumps and three balls later, Andre Russell was stumped for a duck to hand Kuldeep Yadav his best IPL figures (4-14 in three overs).
Rana struck three fours and four sixes to complete his 15th IPL half-century and second of the season. He found an able ally in Rinku Singh (23) and the duo put on 62 for the seventh wicket.
Rana took the aggressive route in the death overs by clubbing off-spinner Lalit Yadav for two sixes in the 17th over to bring up his 100 IPL sixes and 2000 runs in the league but Mustafizur Rahman struck back with three wickets in the final over to limit the damage and KKR to 146-9.