Run­away win for Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gar­dens

Narine and Kuldeep spin a web af­ter Rana and Rus­sell ham­mer the Dare­dev­ils at­tack

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Amitabha Das Sharma

Kolkata Knight Riders re­turned to win­ning ways de­feat­ing Delhi Dare­dev­ils by 71 runs in the Vivo-IPL at the Eden Gar­dens here on Mon­day.

Knight Riders scored 200 for nine af­ter be­ing asked to bat and dis­missed Dare­dev­ils for 129 in 14.2 overs.

With the cush­ion of a big score, Knight Riders re­duced the vis­i­tors to 24 for three by the third over. The bravado of Rishab Pant and Glenn Maxwell, who paired in a 62-run part­ner­ship for the fourth wicket, raised hopes of a fight back, but Dare­dev­ils could not sus­tain the tempo for long.

Pant, who was the more ex­pres­sive of the two in the 33-ball stand, scored 43 off 26 balls with seven fours and a six.

Kuldeep Ya­dav brought KKR back on track, pick­ing up Pant in the ninth over in­duc­ing him to go for a big shot that ended up in the hands of Piyush Chawla at deep mid­wicket. Kuldeep also ac­counted for the other big hit­ter, Glenn Maxwell, just when he ap­peared to be run­ning away with the match hit­ting four sixes and three bound­aries.

While Kuldeep picked up the big-hit­ters, off-spin­ner Su­nil Narine in­flicted late dam­age bam­boo­zling the lower or­der and be­com­ing the first over­seas spin­ner to pick up 100 IPL wick­ets.

Ear­lier, Trent Boult pro­duced the start Dare­dev­ils were look­ing for. The New Zealand left-armer mixed pace with move­ment in good mea­sure to keep Knight Riders opener Chris Lyn rooted

and be­gan with a maiden.

The Boult ef­fect con­tin­ued to dog the hosts for some more time as Lynn con­sumed eight balls be­fore get­ting off the mark — a six over mid­wicket off Chris Mor­ris. Boult con­tin­ued to trouble the hosts as he picked up the wicket of pinch-hit­ter Su­nil Narine in his sec­ond over.

Once Robin Uthappa joined Lynn in the mid­dle, Knight Riders found the mo­men­tum. The pair shook off the shack­les in the fifth over,

go­ing af­ter Boult — col­lect­ing 13 runs in the Kiwi pacer’s third over.

Uthappa was most se­vere on left-arm spin­ner Shah­baz Nadeem, hit­ting him for two huge sixes and a four.

Hav­ing amassed 50 runs at the end of the Pow­er­Play, Knight Riders had re­cov­ered well as Uthappa did the hit­ting and se­cured the plat­form for a big score.

With Lynn play­ing an­chor, Uthappa heaved three big sixes and a cou­ple of bound­aries to reach 35 off 19 balls in a 55-run part­ner­ship for the sec­ond wicket.

Nadeem dis­missed Uthappa in the eighth over, but Knight Riders looked in no mood to be bogged down as Ni­tish Rana con­tin­ued with the big shots to keep the runs flow­ing.

The best came when he was joined by An­dre Rus­sell af­ter the de­par­ture of Lynn (31) and cap­tain Di­nesh Karthik (19).

The two paired in a 61-run part­ner­ship, com­ing off just 22 balls, for the fifth wicket

where Rus­sell pro­duced six sixes to score 41 off just 11 balls.

Mo­ham­mad Shami re­ceived most of the pun­ish­ment as Rus­sell col­lected all his sixes off the left-arm pacer, who con­ceded 42 runs in his fi­nal two overs.

Rana top scored with a re­spon­si­ble 59 (35b, 5x4, 4x6). Knight Riders could have posted a big­ger score, but strug­gled in the fi­nal over of leg-spin­ner Rahul Te­wa­tia, where it lost three wick­ets for three runs.

K.R. DEEPAK ■

Gone in a blink: DD’s Ja­son Roy is smartly stumped by KKR skip­per Di­nesh Karthik off Piyush Chawla.

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