Kolkata Knight Riders’ much-vaunted batting line-up imploded, failing to get a grip of Kuldeep Yadav’s deception and guile before Nitish Rana’s half-century became a face-saver in their total of 146 for nine against Delhi Capitals in the IPL on Thursday.
A host of changes in the playing XI did seem to have affected the balance of KKR as their innings lacked momentum, save Shreyas Iyer (42 off 37 balls) and Rana (57 off 34 balls), who tried to get a move on.
Rana’s partnership of 62 for the seventh wicket with Rinku Singh (23 off 16 balls) proved to be a saving grace after the two-time champions slumped to 83 for six at one stage.
Kuldeep, who is in the middle of a brilliant season, finished with 4 for 14 which included the wickets of Shreyas and the dangerous Andre Russell. If Kuldeep wreaked havoc in the middle overs, it was Mustafizur Rahaman (3/18 in 4 overs), who was brilliant at the death, giving away only two runs and picking three wickets in the last over.
Kuldeep’s manner of using the flight in one delivery and suddenly increasing the pace in other was there for everyone to see. It was a bit surprising that skipper Rishabh Pant didn’t complete his quota of overs.
In the case of domestic veteran Baba Indrajith (6 off 8 balls), suffering from debut match nerves having waited for this day for 10 years, Kuldeep flighted one but the batter failed to reach to the pitch of the delivery and didn’t get the elevation to get caught in the deep.
Sunil Narine (0) got a classical left-arm wrist spinner’s googly that turned the other way round and was caught on the back foot.
KKR skipper Shreyas chased a delivery to get a kind of under-edge which Pant grabbed, displaying nice reflexes. Russell (0) was beaten in flight and change in the pace of delivery while shortening the length. While it was a clumsy stumping by the DC skipper, it was just the result they wanted.
At the onset, Australia’s white ball skipper Aaron Finch played all over an inswinger from Chetan Sakariya to get bowled, while Venkatesh Iyer again fell to an ill-planned sweep shot off Axar Patel. Then, Rana defied DC and saved KKR from getting all out under 100
- IPL 2022
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