Sports Correspondent. 11th April 2021.
Kolkata Knight Riders began their VIVO IPL 2021 campaign off to a positive start with a convincing victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad. At the end of the match, KKR was a little bit better as compared to SRH, both with the bat and the ball.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain, David Warner won the toss and put Kolkata Knight Riders into bat on a slow and turning Chennai pitch. Nitish Rana started off VIVO IPL 2021 continuing his last season’s heroics. The swashbuckling opener looked in complete control and took apart everyone from Bhuvaneswar Kumar to Sandeep Sharma. Shubhman Gill found the slow Chennai pitch not conducive to his normal stroke-making game. He departed for a 15 off 13 balls.
It was Rana and Tripathy that took apart the SRH ball, never really looking in any trouble. Tripathy smashed a solid 53 off 29 with 2 sixes and 5 fours. With Rana and Tripathy going strong, KKR looked poise to cross 200. However, both departed in quick succession. Nitish Rana making the most of his promotion to the top of the innings with a well-made 80 off 56 balls.
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The stage was set for the big hitters to take KKR well past the 200 hundred marks. However, SRH made a strong comeback getting both the dangerous Russell and the KKR captain Morgan in quick succession. Dinesh Karthik’s late heroics ensured KKR reached a healthy 187 off their complete set of 20 overs.
SRH got off to a shaky start losing both Warner and Saha early. Prasidh Krishna producing a peach to get rid of Warner. Saha chopped on from a Shakib cutter and SRH were looking down the long hard road to defeat. Bairstow and ex KKR Manish Pandey came together to stitch a formidable comeback. Bairstow doing what he does best, slaughtering the bowling to all corners of the park. Bairstow smashing 3 sixes and 5 fours in his knock of 55 off 40 balls. The Englishmen finally ending his innings thanks to a Cummins delivery.
In the end, the task seemed too big. While Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, and Abdul Samad scored quickfire tens and twenties, KKR emerged on top in a game that looked tougher than the end results suggested.