Kolkata Knight Riders beat Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils to register their first win at home and second of VIVO IPL 2018 at Eden Gardens. KKR posted 200 runs in their 20 overs at the back of not ONE, not TWO but FIVE quick-fire knocks (Lynn 31, Uthappa 35, Rana 59, Karthik 19, Russell 41). DD were all out for 129 runs. Nitish Rana was adjudged man of the match for his 59 runs (35 balls, 5 fours, 4 sixes).
It was Gambhir who won the toss and asked KKR to bat first. DD made no changes while Tom Curran replaced Mitchell Johnson in KKR’s playing eleven.
Trent Boult (2/29) got things going with a maiden over, first of the VIVO IPL 2018. Sunil Narine (1) couldn’t do much with the bat and edged one off Boult’s sharp bouncer straight to Pant, who managed to keep the ball in the air for Maxwell to complete the catch.
Boult who continued from his end was given a spike by Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn. Uthappa sent one straight over Boult’s head for four. And Lynn added more misery to it as he gets two boundaries in the same over, the scoreboard read 43/1 after 5 overs. KKR didn’t change their gears and picked on Nadeem (1/43). Uthappa who had a quiet IPL so far, went for two maximums and a boundary in his over. Nadeem was trusted by his skipper, Gautam Gambhir and he prized him with the scalp of dangerous looking Uthappa (35 off 19 balls) at 62/2.
Nitish Rana took his time before sending one from Tewatia miles up in the air and it went all the way into the stands. He wasn’t holding back, and punched Nadeem for another huge six and followed that up with a sweetly-timed boundary. Mohammad Shami was introduced for the first time in the 11th over and he got a wicket right away for DD with the wicket of Chris Lynn, thanks to a brilliant catch by Jason Roy at long-on as he made a difficult chance look into an easy one.
Shankar found himself on the firing line by Rana and DK. Rana first pulled one hard to get another four, followed by his skipper who too kept the momentum going and started his innings with a huge six in the same over. Chris Morris returned to bowl 14th over, DK whipped him for two back to back boundaries at the mid-wicket region, but perished going for the third one with the same shot. Rana completed the over with another Rana-ish SIX at long-on. Morris’ over went for 15, and KKR were at 123/4 after 14th over.
Then came Dre-Russ and sent three maximum off Shami’s third over and the score rocketed up to 145/5 after 15 overs. Rana wasn’t holding back and gunned one to the stand off Chris Morris’ bowling followed by a boundary. Shami was welcomed post the second strategic timeout with a six. Andre Russell was in some mood and made that over count with two more maximum to finish the over that went for 20 runs.
Boult was brought in to the attack and he clean-bowled Russell for 42 runs off 12 balls that included 6 sixes. Rana got out in the 19th over for a brilliant 59. KKR failed to make most of the last over by Rahul Tewatia, losing three wickets and managing just one runs off it. KKR posted a challenging total of 200/9 from 20 overs.
In reply to a target of 201, Piyush Chawla started with the bowl and straightaway removed DD’s last match hero Jason Roy (1), thanks to some smart work by our skipper behind the wicket. DD took another blow in the following over when Shreyas Iyer (4) edged one straight to Nitish Rana at the first slip, off Russell’s bowling. First bowling change was in Shivam Mavi and guess what he got his maiden wicket in form of DD’s skipper Gautam Gambhir (8).
Rishabh Pant proved to be too good against the spinners as he dispatched a six and a four off Chawla’s first two bowl off seventh over. Tom Curran didn’t have an ideal start and ended up conceding 12 runs off his first over. Kuldeep took charge from the other end and he got rid of Pant (43), as he holed out to Chawla at deep midwicket. Curran was trusted and he fought back and dismissed Tewatia (1).
Maxwell charged Kuldeep Yadav for two maximums but wasn’t allowed to celebrate for much long as Kuldeep sent him packing in the same over. Narine came back to the attack and cleaned up Chris Morris for his 100th wicket in IPL. He followed that up with another one, and trapped Vijay Shankar in front of the wicket.
It was a matter of time before Narine produced another trick and got the wicket of Shami in his 3rd over followed by Kuldeep who finished things up with a caught and bowled to dismiss Trent Boult.
The win over Delhi Daredevils means KKR now stands second behind the table-topper Sunrisers Hyderabad. We will be playing our next match against Rajasthan Royals on April 18 in Jaipur and a win against DD was a much needed boost for our Knights. Sure it has brought plenty of smiles to all our fans.
Brief Scores: KKR 200/9 from 20 Overs (Nitish Rana 49, Andre Russell 42, Rahul Tewatia 3/18 & Trent Boult 2/29) beat Delhi Daredevils (Glenn Maxwell 47, Rishabh Pant 43, Sunil Narine 3/18 & Kuldeep Yadav 3/32) by 71 runs.