Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) began their second phase campaign in IPL-2021 on a resounding note thrashing Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by wickets here Sunday. KKR bowlers led by Andre Russell (3/9) and Varun Chakravarthy (3/14) did extremely well to bowl out RCB for just 92 in 19 overs. Then openers Shubman Gill (48, 34b, 6×4, 1×6) and Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out, 27b, 7×4, 1×6) knocked off the runs quite easily to keep KKR’s chances of qualifying for the play-offs alive.
RCB won the toss and elected to bat at the Abu Dhabi cricket stadium here. However, once they lost Virat Kohli (5) early on, they were always on the back-foot. The KKR bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals to keep the RCB batsmen under check. To compound their problems, both Glenn Maxwell (10) and AB de Villiers (0) also failed to come good. While Maxwell was bowled by Chakravarthy, it was the turn of Russell to disturb the timber of De Villiers.
Except Devdutt Paddikkal (22), none of the other RCB batsmen looked in touch. Either they were too defensive in their approach or were over aggressive. The result was that none of them got going.
Pacers Lockie Ferguson (2/24) and Prasidh Krishna (1/24) also got into the act to restrict the RCB batsmen. There were very few loose deliveries for the RCB batsmen to play with.
When KKR started their run towards victory target, both Gill and Iyer batted with exemplary composure. But then when you are just chasing a victory target of 93, then you can play freely. And that’s exactly what Gill and Iyer did to take their side over the line in 10 overs. They put on an opening stand of 82 before Gill was caught in the deep by Mohammed Siraj off Yuzvendra Chahal.
Brief scores: RCB 92 all out in 19 overs (Andre Russell 3/9, Varun Chakravarthy 3/14, Lockie Ferguson 2/24) lost to KKR 94 for 1 in 10 overs (Shubman Gill 48, Venkatesh Iyer 41 n o) by nine wickets.