Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bounced back, after a bad loss, and defeated Delhi Capitals (DC) by 59 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, 24 October.
Put in to bat, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine stitched a 115-run stand for the fourth wicket to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) get over a poor start to their innings and post 194/6 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
In response, Varun Chakravarthy returned with 5/20 – the best bowling figures this season – as KKR restricted Delhi to 135/9.
With this win, KKR consolidated their fourth-place position in the standings, with 12 points in 11 matches. DC remain at second place with 14 points.
KKR sent Nitish Rana out to open the innings with Shubman Gill, and pushed Rahul Tripathi down to three.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje tore into the top order, reducing KKR to 42/3 in 7.2 overs. Fit-again Nortje, who replaced Daniel Sams in the eleven, removed Gill (9) and Tripathi (13) while the highest wicket-taker in the league so far Rabada dismissed Dinesh Karthik for 3.
All-rounder Narine – playing his first game since his bowling action was cleared by the IPL Suspect Bowling Action Committee on 18 October – was then sent in ahead of captain Eoin Morgan to join Rana at the crease.
Rana reached the fifty-run mark off 32 deliveries and dedicated his half-century to his father-in-law, who passed away on 23 October.
Narine scored his half-century off 24 deliveries and fell to Rabada in the 17th over for a 32-ball 64, which featured six boundaries and four maximums.
Rana carried on, and was finally dismissed on the penultimate ball of the innings on 81 (off 53 balls) by Marcus Stoinis. His knock included 13 boundaries and a six.
Stoinis then dismissed Morgan off the very next ball with the England captain on 17 off 9 balls.
Rabada (2/33), Nortje (2/27) and Stoinis (2/41) all got two wicket each while R Ashwin returned with dismal figures of 0/45 (in 3 overs) and Tushar Deshpande leaked 40 runs in his four overs.
Delhi Capitals’ Innings
With Prithvi Shaw dropped, Ajinkya Rahane came out to open Delhi’s innings with Shikhar Dhawan and fell for a golden duck to Pat Cummins on the first ball of the run chase.
The Aussie pacer returned in the third over and cleaned up the other opener Dhawan – who scored two centuries in the last two matches – for a 6-ball 6.
From 13/2, captain Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant carried the innings forward and stitched a 63-run stand before Chakravarthy inflicted a middle-order collapse.
Introduced into the attack in the 12th over, the mystery spinner picked up five wickets in his first 3 overs to deny Delhi any chance of finishing their run chase successfully.
After getting Pant caught out for a 33-ball 27, Chakravarthy returned in the 13th over to pick up two wickets in successive balls – dismissing Shimron Hetmyer (5-ball 10) and Shreyas Iyer (38-ball 47).
Pant completed 100 sixes in his IPL career. Having done so in 1,224 balls, he is the fastest Indian to have reached the milestone, beating the record set by Yusuf Pathan, who had done that in 1,308 balls.
DC were reduced to 95/5, still needing 100 runs off 39 balls.
In the 16th over, Varun dismissed Stoinis for 6 and Axar Patel for 9, completing the first five-wicket haul of the season.
Cummins got another wicket in his final over, removing Rabada for 9, and finished with 3/17 – his best figures in the IPL.