The Kolkata Knight Riders clinched their second win of VIVO IPL 2018 when they defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs at the Eden Gardens on Monday night. KKR were powered to 200-9 by Nitish Rana's bold half-century and Andre Russell's sensational blitz. Later on, though the Delhi Daredevils got ahead, and stayed ahead, of the required rate for most part of their chase, they kept losing wickets and were eventually bowled out for 129 in 14.2 overs.
DD were reduced to 24-3 in the first three overs, after which Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell made 43 and 47 respectively. But there was little else of note in the visitors innings.
Standout batting performances
Andre Russell made his second significant contribution of this season when he made 41 batting at number six. The West Indian all-rounder, who was given a reprieve on 7 when Jason Roy put down a difficult catch in the outfield, scored almost all his runs off one particular bowler; he took a liking for Mohammed Shami's pace and destroyed the bowler's figures, scoring 40 runs off 9 balls against him. Off the six sixes he hit Shami for, two were among the biggest recorded so far this season.
Russell's cameo ended when he had his stumps shattered by a smart piece of bowling from Trent Boult; the left-arm pacer dished out a cross-seam slower yorker which deceived the batsman and crashed into the leg-stump.
Notable Support Act - Batting
Nitish Rana has scored runs each time he has walked out to bat this season, but his 59 in this match was perhaps his most impressive performance so far. The left-hander batted aggressively collecting four sixes and five boundaries in his 35-ball outing. He took a liking for Chris Morris’ pace and struck the bowler for two fours and two sixes, in all collecting 22 runs off ten balls; he hit a six over long-on and collected another six through midwicket. He was dismissed in the 19th over when he didn’t pick a slower delivery from Morris and miscued an attempted hit through the off-side to be caught at cover.
KKR also had useful contributions from Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa. The former struggled initially, often missing the ball completely or hitting the ball straight to the fielder, but he batted on and made a scratchy 31 from 29 balls. Uthappa hit the ball beautifully; he muscled three sixes and collected two fours in his 19-ball 35 which ended when he top-edged a slog-sweep and the bowler Shahbaz Nadeem gleefully settled under it.
Standout bowling performance
Trent Boult got the match off to a quiet start, bowling the first maiden over of the season, and finished with respectable figures of 2-29. The DD leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia was impressive too; his returns for the night were 3-18 from three overs – all his three wickets coming in the final over of the innings in which he conceded a solitary run.
In the second innings, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav picked up three wickets each to derail the visitors chase. Narine’s first wicket was his 100th IPL wicket; he would add two more scalps to finish with figures of 3-0-18-3, in the process also bagging the Purple Cap. Kuldeep struck two deadly blows when he dismissed Rishabh and Maxwell; the chinaman bowler’s figures in the match read 3.2-0-32-3.
Stat of the Match
Andre Russell’s strike-rate against Mohammed Shami in this match was 444.44.
KKR collapsed from 178-4 after 200-9 in the final 2.5 overs of their innings.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 200-9 (Nitish Rana 59, Andre Russell 41, Robin Uthappa 35, Rahul Tewatia 3-18) beat Delhi Daredevils 129 in 14.2 overs (Rishabh Pant 43, Glenn Maxwell 47, Sunil Narine 3-18, Kuldeep Yadav 3-32) by 71 runs.
Man of the Match: Nitish Rana, for his 35-ball 59, which contained 5 fours & 4 sixes.