It was a familiar sight of Gautam Gambhir at the Eden Gardens as the captain but the only difference was that he was leading Delhi Daredevils instead of Kolkata Knight Riders. The homecoming didn’t prove to be a merry one as KKR defeated DD in a one-sided encounter in the 13th match of IPL 2018.
Batting first after losing the toss, KKR set up a massive total of 200/9 on the board. DD were very rarely in the hunt as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Despite Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell’s valiant efforts, the visitors fell short by 71 runs.
Let’s analyze the reasons why KKR got the better of DD
#1 Robin Uthappa provided the impetus
KKR didn’t get off to a good start as the opener Sunil Narine got out for just 1 in the 3rd over to Trent Boult. The hosts had scored only 19 runs in the first 4 overs and Chris Lynn was struggling to time the ball. The pressure was mounting on the batsman and that’s when Robin Uthappa played a useful hand.
The right-hander went after Shahbaz Nadeem in the 6th over and collected 18 runs off the over that took the score to 50 at the end of the powerplay. That was the much-needed boost to the innings which gave the momentum. Even though Nadeem accounted for Uthappa’s wicket in the 8th over but the cameo of 35 off 19 balls by the batsman set the tone for the remaining overs.
#2 Nitish Rana laid the platform
The left-hander had shown signs of good form in the previous games and he carried that to Kolkata as well. Without wasting any time, he hit his stripes and improved the scoring rate. Lynn’s struggle for runs was on at one end but Rana didn’t let that affect him. After 10 overs, the score reached 85/2 and Lynn got out in the next over.
The skipper Dinesh Karthik played a few sparkling shots but he couldn’t last long. But Rana was unperturbed by all that as he kept going at his usual pace. When Russell unleashed himself in the middle, Rana kept his shape and reached his fifty off 30 balls. He finally lost his wicket in the penultimate over but not before scoring 59 off 35 balls that included 5 fours and 4 sixes.
#3 Andre Russell’s explosion
You are having a bad night if Andre Russell stays in the middle for a while and for that matter, DD had a nightmare because he was in a destructive mood. As soon as he arrived at the crease, he made his intentions clear by smacking just his second ball for a six. Mohammed Shami was at the receiving end as he was pelted for 2 more monster sixes in the next 3 balls.
The ball was going only one way when Russell was batting as he hammered Shami for 3 more sixes in his next over. Within no time, he had raced off to 41 off just 11 balls with 6 sixes. He was in no mood to stop but the experienced Trent Boult castled him with a pinpoint accurate yorker to end the assault. But the damage was already done and the blistering cameo of Russell helped KKR to achieve 200.
#4 Right bowlers at the right time
Dinesh Karthik was at his best in terms of captaincy as he made the apt moves at every moment in the game. Against the dangerous Jason Roy, he implemented the spinner Piyush Chawla in the first over and resulted in his wicket. When Gautam Gambhir threatened, he brought in the raw pace of Shivam Mavi who went through the defense of the batsman.
Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell were the only 2 batsmen who kept DD in the hunt but Karthik persisted with Kuldeep Yadav against them despite the youngster going for a few runs. Kuldeep claimed the wickets of both of them to seal the game for KKR.
#5 Sunil Narine’s ever dependent bowling
It doesn’t happen too often that Sunil Narine goes for plenty. A rare moment occurred when Rishabh Pant took him for 11 runs in his first over. Karthik held him back and his spin partner Kuldeep did the trick by removing the dangerous batsmen.
When Narine came back for his second over, the situation was tailor-made for him to run through the lower order. The batsmen had a mountain to climb and Narine made sure that they don’t even go past the base. He accounted for the wickets of Chris Morris and Vijay Shankar in the space of 3 balls to shatter any hopes left for DD. He added to his wickets tally by sending Shami back and finished with figures of 18/3.
Delhi Daredevils won the toss and opted to bowl first
Kolkata Knight Riders: 200/9 in 20 overs
Nitish Rana 59 (35), Andre Russell 41 (12)
Rahul Tewatia 18/3 (3), Trent Boult 29/2 (4)
Delhi Daredevils: 129/10 in 14.2 overs
Glenn Maxwell 47 (22), Rishabh Pant 43 (26)
Sunil Narine 18/3 (3), Kuldeep Yadav 32/3 (3.2)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 71 runs
Player of the Match: Nitish Rana