Astute bowling from Kolkata Knight Riders managed to keep Sunrisers Hyderabad at bay to clinch a victory by ten runs in their first game of IPL 2021.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) managed to defend 187 runs at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday to clinch victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). David Warner’s men lost the momentum in the chase during the middle overs as they eventually fell short by ten runs. Courtesy of this win, KKR continues to have a superior head-to-head record against Hyderabad. Eoin Morgan opted for Shakib Al Hasan over Sunil Narine in this game, while Harbhajan Singh made his debut for KKR in the team’s first game in IPL 2021.
KKR got off to a flying start after being put to bat by SRH. Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana started playing attacking shots from the word go before the former was castled by a terrific delivery by Rashid Khan. SRH tried to put brakes on the scoring rate, but they found it difficult to do due to some sensible batting from Rana and Rahul Tripathi.
The duo managed to consistently hit boundaries to keep the run-rate close to ten. Both of them reached their half-centuries while stitching 93 runs partnership for the third wicket. However, Tripathi was dismissed by Sandeep Kumar just after he went past 50. KKR was in a spot of bother as they lost wickets in a heap when there should have been acceleration towards a score of 200. They suddenly found themselves at 160/5 after Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, and Nitish Rana were dismissed in consecutive overs.
Quickfire innings of 22 runs in nine deliveries from Dinesh Karthik made sure that KKR went past 180. The momentum created by his hitting, in the end, was backed up by KKR’s bowlers in the powerplay overs. David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha were dismissed cheaply by Prasidh Krishna and Shakib Al Hasan inside three overs, respectively.
Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow stitched a good partnership to stabilise the innings. However, the Englishman was dismissed by Pat Cummins at the halfway stage of the chase just when things were on an upward trajectory for SRH. Pandey went past 50, but he couldn’t play big shots in the death overs, while there was little support from the other end apart from a small cameo from Abdul Samad in the end. Eventually, poor batting in the death overs led to a defeat by ten runs. KKR managed to start IPL 2021 with a win, a feat they have achieved in numerous campaigns.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 187/6 (Nitish Rana 80 (56), Rahul Tripathi 53 (29), Rashid Khan 2/24, Mohammad Nabi 2/32)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 177/5 (Manish Pandey 61 (44), Jonny Bairstow 55 (40), Prasidh Krishna 2/35, Pat Cummins 1/30)