October 4, 2020 1:50:59 am
Kolkata Knight Riders outscored Delhi Capitals in the Powerplay. But they were up against a record chase and DC tightened the screws the middle overs, which eventually did the job for them. Eoin Morgan threw the kitchen sink towards the end and Rahul Tripathi played a brilliant hand. In the end, though, chasing 229 to win, KKR went down by 18 runs
Prithvi Shaw scored an excellent half-century, Rishabh Pant played a lovely little cameo, but if fans were allowed inside the stadium, Shreyas Iyer would have made them dance in the aisles at Sharjah, to paraphrase Tony Greig.
DC ran riot after being sent in. Since the mid-1980s, Sharjah has always been a chasing ground, with batting-friendly pitches and short boundaries. The venue has lived up to its billing in this IPL also.
Shikhar Dhawan and Shaw put on a 56-run opening partnership before the impressive Varun Chakravarthy, who bowled two overs inside the Powerplay, dismissed the left-hander. Shaw carried on and scored his sixth IPL half-century.
Iyer’s 38-ball 88 not out, with seven fours and six sixes, oozed cultured aggression. Two shots stood out – a leg glance to a Pat Cummins yorker to the fine-leg boundary followed by an extra-cover drive off the back foot. Iyer and Pant added 72 runs off 31 balls for the third wicket.
Anrich Nortje cleaned up Sunil Narine in the second over during KKR’s chase, but Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana were going strong. Amit Mishra put the handbrake on after the Powerplay and removed Gill. Andre Russell came and Iyer intelligently brought back Kagiso Rabada. The South African neutralised the threat, and as Dinesh Karthik came in ahead of Morgan, the DC captain used up Harshal Patel, who removed Rana (58) and Karthik off consecutive deliveries to put KKR under serious pressure. Nortje returned to dismiss Cummins and then got the big one of Morgan, when the England white-ball captain’s blitz was threatening to take the game away.
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