Kolkata Knight Riders suffered their second defeat in as many games as they slumped to a seven-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals at Eden Gardens on Friday. Chasing 179, it took DC 18.5 overs to reach the mark, with Shikhar Dhawan scoring an unbeaten 97 in 63 balls to help the visitors.
Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bowl. The visitors made one change with Keemo Paul replacing Sandeep Lamichhane. Kolkata Knight Riders made three changes – Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, and Harry Gurney were replaced with Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly and Lockie Ferguson.
Andre Russell blazed away to a 21-ball 45 after Shubman Gill’s brisk half-century, powering Kolkata Knight Riders to 178 for seven against Delhi Capitals, in the Indian Premier League Friday. This was Russell’s sixth successive 40-plus score, his four sixes, and three boundaries coming after youngster Gill stroked 65 off 39 balls, helping the hosts recover from Ishant Sharma’s wicket-maiden first over. The Jamaican, who was cleaned up by Kagiso Rabada with a toe-crushing yorker in their Super Over defeat in the first leg, also exacted sweet revenge smashing the South African for two sixes in an over that yielded 16 runs.
Chris Morris removed Russell in the penultimate over when he was caught in the deep by Rabada. Sent into bat, from batting at No. 6 in their last match against Chennai Super Kings, Gill was promoted to open the innings and the 19-year-old responded with a fine knock, his second IPL fifty, and first this season. Gill smashed seven fours and two sixes, both against spinner Axar Patel, and along with Robin Uthappa (28), added 63 runs after a horror start.
Shikhar Dhawan anchored DC’s chase beautifully as the left-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 97 in 63 balls to take his side home. The left-handed batsman struck 11 fours and 2 sixes and ensured that DC remain at par with the required run rate throughout the run chase. Rishabh Pant remained his perfect ally as the duo stitched a 105-run stand for the third wicket after the dismissal of DC skipper Shreyas Iyer. Pant’s handy contribution of 46 runs saw DC reaching a commanding position in the match.
Unfortunately for Dhawan, Colin Ingram hammered a six with DC needing 5 to win and left Dhawan stranded on 97 and failing to score a ton. None of the KKR bowlers were able to restrict the run flow and cause too much trouble for DC’s batting unit.
The gamechanger in the match was the 2nd over from Prasidh Krishna in which Shikhar Dhawan was almost dismissed twice. A huge caught behind appeal from Dinesh Karthik was refuted by the umpires. The inswinger from Krishna had travelled too close to Dhawan’s body and there was definitely a sound. Karthik opt for review, but the replays showed that the ball might be hitting the batsman’s body, though there were still a few doubts on the decisions.
In the next over, Dhawan edged to first slip, but Nitish Rana was standing a few steps away from the mission and it went through him for a boundary. Giving too many opportunities to the left-handed batsman proved too costly for KKR, with Dhawan leading his side to a comfortable win.
Dinesh Karthik: “To be honest the par score was 10-15 runs more than that. We didn’t bat well and didn’t post a good score. I expected our bowlers to perform better, that didn’t happen though. Such things happen in a game of cricket. They (Lynn and Narine) are two key players and missing them is never good. But Shubman grabbed the opportunity and played really well. You are always going to have replacements. It was hard on Joe to get out on the first ball, but I am sure he’ll come back strong in the next game. I think picking wickets on this ground has been difficult but bowlers can work on few areas and come back harder. That’s what IPL is about, coming back stronger every time you can.”
Shreyas Iyer: “It is amazing feeling. before the game, I was recollecting the last win. It is a good victory. Back-toback wins feel nice. It as really tough for us to decide the team. Out of the 12 we had, we had one change. I think it was a good moive to get it Keemo Paul. We love to bat on such tracks. We love batting on variable tracks. The way Dhawan batted, he showed his experience and class. Was well appreciated the way he played. Amazing to watch him. Tpday he came out and delivered the goods. He is an amazing personality and is good to have him around.”
Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders (Gill 65, Russell 45; Morris 2/38); Delhi Capitals (Dhawan 97*, Pant 46; Rana 1/12 )