- Sinchan Saha | April 6, 2023 | 7:19 pm
IPL 2023, 9th Match: Kolkata Knight Riders 204 for 7 (Thakur 68, Gurbaz 57, Willey 2-16) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 123 (du Plessis 23, Varun 4-15, Suyash 3-30) by 81 runs
Eleven-and-a-half overs into Kolkata Knight Riders’ re-visitation of Eden Nurseries, it appeared they were taking a gander at a long, excruciating IPL ahead. They were 89 for 5 after the first match, which they lost. Andre Russell had got out for a brilliant duck. Shardul Thakur nearly fell victim to Karn Sharma’s hat trick, but he then pulled off one of the remarkable turnarounds in the IPL.
The second-highest score ever recorded by a No. 7 in the IPL brought KKR’s total to 204, which is the highest total for a team with five losses under 100. With short boundaries, a quick outfield, and dew already in, it was probably still a par score. Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli gave Royal Challengers Bangalore a strong start, but the two mysterious spinners, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, ran through their batting to give them a reality check in an IPL match where they started as favorites.
Willey slots right in
Royal Challengers found out before the game that Reece Topley would be out of the IPL for the entire season after injuring himself in the first match. Minutes in, David Willey showed he could be the ideal substitution. He tidied up Venkatesh Iyer with crease development in, and afterward settled Mandeep Singh with a wobble-crease conveyance to kiss the off stump. He scored twice thanks to the latter. In the powerplay, Mohammed Siraj and Akash Deep, who wasted 38 shots on goal, outperformed Willey’s 3-1-9-0 total.
Gurbaz stopped short by Karn
One of Knight Riders’ acquisitions, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, continued to show promise even as wickets fell and fans questioned the team’s work at the auction. Despite losing four leg-glanced runs to a wrong leg-bye call, his aggressive play led to his first IPL fifty in 38 balls. Although he had reduced them to 79 for 3 in those ten overs, the first non-Gurbaz boundary occurred in the eleventh over. A respectable total remained.
In the 12th over, Gurbaz perfectly found a short third after middleing a reverse sweep off Karn Sharma. The Knight Riders were down to Andre Russell or die, not for the first time. Bust it had all the earmarks of being as Russell attempted to stir things up around town ball for a six, and saw it as lengthy off.
Shardul Thakur takes over
Thakur’s encounter with the hat trick ball was far from a sign of things to come. Large back lift, hoping to drive a leg break into the covers, inside-edging the wrong’un. The fact that the edge went all the way for four was the only indication of what was to come.
Two balls later, Thakur scored with a picture-perfect leg flick off Deep, helped along by the small boundary and quick outfield. He then drove Deep through additional cover. He got a free hit in the same over, which he put over wide, long-on.
What followed was typical of an innings with 68 runs off 29. He hit a lot of powerful shots and three more misses that went right through the infield and boundary riders. The strikes into the leg side were so freshly hit they figured out how to keep away from upwards of four limit riders.
ALSO READ: Allan Donald on Shakib Al Hasan: ‘No idea why Shakib didn’t bowl enough in the series ’
ALSO READ: IPL 2023: Liam Livingstone’s arrival delayed further, until mid-April
Rinku Singh, at the opposite end, continued turning the strike over prior to participating in the firecrackers in the last two overs. He got 46 out of 33 after starting with 23 out of 25. When he collected Siraj’s high full toss for a six, the turnaround began.
At the time of the death, others, including Siraj specifically, were typical. It was true that Thakur did everything right that day, but Siraj, for instance, bowled the final two overs with mid-off up and was three times hit over the fielder. There was no manufactured shot in any of them. Illustrious Challengers surrendered 23 runs in additional overs.
The chase nosedives
The Royal Challengers did not panic. Before picking up the pace, Du Plessis and Kohli even gave themselves a glimpse for two overs. The fourth over, bowled by Tim Southee, went for 23.
When Narine was used in the fifth over, it looked like the game was over. Narine immediately settled into the perfect line and length after a rare match in which he played at ten an over. He had Kohli bowled through the gate after five balls. Varun du Plessis bowled the following over because the carrom ball didn’t turn and took the inside edge.
Royal Challengers experimented in unconventional ways, placing Michael Bracewell at No. No. 3 is Harshal Patel. 4 – however, the spinners were simply too strong. Almost all of the deliveries were hitting the stumps, despite the variety. Varun bowled Harshal and Glenn Maxwell, Narine had Shahbaz Ahmed gotten.
The debutant leg spinner Suyash Sharma, who bowled mostly wrong uns, some seam-up deliveries, and the occasional leg break, ended up with three late wickets after Thakur came in to take a wicket with the third ball.
Knight Riders had taken the most spin wickets in an IPL match when Varun returned and took his fourth wicket to win the game.