Nitish Rana top-scored for KKR    AFP
Nitish Rana top-scored for KKR AFP

After a batting failure against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) due to needless shuffling, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) got their act together against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in match 13 of ongoing VIVO IPL 2018. Put into bat by former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, KKR (led by former DD captain Dinesh Karthik) rode on a wholesome batting effort to post 200 for 9 in 20 overs. The surface isn’t expected to change much, and with some dew expected, DD would still fancy their chances.

Amidst speculations, KKR went back to Sunil Narine as Chris Lynn’s opening partner. However, Narine couldn’t add much to the scoreboard. Trent Boult started with the first maiden over of IPL 2018, and followed it up with the wicket of Narine with a bouncer: wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, fumbled but Glenn Maxwell held on to the catch at first slip.

Robin Uthappa (35) at No. 3 looked in ominous touch. He played straight against Boult and lashed on to the spinners, Shahbaz Nadeem in particular. He hammered Nadeem for 18 in an over with sheer power and timing. Just when he was turning the heat, a leading edge off a slog caused his downfall. Nadeem took the catch himself, and richly deserved the wicket for canny change of pace.

Lynn once again looked rusty to begin with, but applied full force to anything wide. In addition, he was eager to play everything to the off side. Mohammed Shami removed him for a 29-ball 31.

Dinesh Karthik commenced in full flow and became the 12th player in tournament-history to surpass 3,000 runs. However, poor match awareness removed him from the middle. With back-to-back boundaries off Chris Morris off good length deliveries hovering around middle and leg, Karthik went for another one without realising the change in field.

Then KKR shifted gears. After a 22-ball 61-run stand between Andre Russell and Nitish Rana, KKR were eyeing over 200. While Rana was all about streetsmartness and maneuvering the field, Russell’s innings was studded with 6 sixes. (mind you, he played only 12 deliveries).

Russell took a liking towards Shami. As a result, Shami’s last 2 overs yielded 41 and he finished with 1 for 53. Russell’s 41 was an outcome of a strong bottom hand and brutal power. Once Russell fell, Rana continued to steer the gaps. He seemed like auditioning for Team India’s yet-unsettled No. 4 spot. His brilliant 35-ball 59 propelled KKR to 200 for 9.

The score read 199 for 6 after 19 overs, and KKR must have hoped to cross 210 at least. But Rahul Tewatia bowled a gem of an over, taking 3 wickets at the cost of a solitary run, finishing with 3 for 18. Boult impressed as well, with 2 for 29.

Brief scores

Kolkata Knight Riders 200 for 9 in 20 overs (Chris Lynn 31, Robin Uthappa 35, Nitish Rana 59, Andre Russell 41; Rahul Tewatia 3 for 18, Trent Boult 2 for 29, Chris Morris 2 for 41) vs Delhi Daredevils