Cricbuzz Staff •
Nitish Rana and Andre Russell put on 61 for the fifth wicket for KKR. © BCCI
Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back from two consecutive losses to hand Delhi Daredevils a 71-run thrashing on Monday(April 16). Gautam Gambhir returned to Eden Gardens, a venue where he’s scripted several wins, but was left frustrated as the bowlers failed to take advantage of KKR’s wobble.
As things panned out, KKR were put under pressure in the defence but wrapped up the game in the first 12 overs of the chase by picking eight wickets.
How the game changed?
Andre Russell, Nitish Rana and the DD pacers – all played a big part. Gambhir, in a way, lost the plot a touch. In the 14th over, KKR were struggling at 117 for 4. That’s when Russell and Rana joined hands to put the pressure back on the visitors.
Russell got going in the 15th over and dismissed Mohammed Shami’s challenge with disdain to give the innings much-needed impetus. He was dropped on 6 by Jason Roy but smashed three sixes in the over to ease the pressure on Rana a touch. When Shami came back in the 17th over, he was hit for three more sixes as the allrounder raced to 41 off 11 before he was bowled by Trent Boult.
While Russell’s onslaught was crucial, KKR were put in a winning position at the half-way mark by Rana. It was only in the 16th over that he really got going. Chris Morris had plenty to say to the left-hander but ended up at the receiving end as Rana cracked the code and picked up plenty of boundaries wide of third man. He got to his half-century off 30 balls and eventually fell in the 19th over, but KKR already had 193 on the board by then.
How did the benevolent Delhi pacers play a part?
By being just that – benevolent. Russell and Rana collaborated to pick up 61 in the four overs they played together to completely change the complexion of the game. While the spinners went for 61 from their seven overs, the pacers gave away 135 from the 13 they bowled. Make no mistake, Trent Boult was exceptional and ended with 4-1-29-2 but Vijay Shankar gave away 12 from his only over while Shami leaked 53 from his four. Morris, for all the banter he got involved in, was tonked for 41 in the four overs he bowled for a solitary wicket.
How did the DD chase go?
Disappointing. DD threatened to take the game away from KKR but failed to sustain the momentum. Glenn Maxwell (47 off 22) and Rishabh Pant (43 off 26) brought the chase back on track after the team was reduced to 24 for 3. In a tall chase, DD needed a good start. Instead, they lost three wickets in the first three overs. Jason Roy’s weakness against spin was exposed by Piyush Chawla while Shreyas Iyer fell after being surprised by the pace of Russell. Gambhir chopped one back off Shivam Mavi.
Maxwell and Pant then upped the ante with a brilliant 62-run counter-attack but once they were dismissed, the chase fell apart real quick.
Where do the teams go from here?
DD now enjoy a break and will play an away game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 21. KKR travel to Jaipur tomorrow and will play Rajasthan Royals on April 18.
Brief scores: KKR 200/9 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 59, Andre Russell 41; Trent Boult 2-29) beat DD 129 in 14.2 overs (Glenn Maxwell 47, Rishabh Pant 43; Sunil Narine 3-18, Kuldeep Yadav 3-32) by 71 runs.