As the Indian Premier League paces up with lots of actions and moments, in the eighth match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi Kolkata Knight Riders took on Sunrisers Hyderabad. Had it been at the Eden Gardens, surely the eccentric Kolkata crowd would bleed purple. Both SRH and KKR lost their first matches and it was the opportunity for the winning team to keep their run rate afloat.
David Warner won the toss and chose to pad up first. Warner with his opening partner Johnny Bairstow had a slow start. Cummins leading the Riders from the front. Johnny Bairstow survived because of the DRS but lost his wicket in the next ball by Cummins. Warner could contribute 36 with bat. After all the travails of last year, Varun Chakravarthy exhibited an excellent game in this season so far. Manish Pandey kept Hyderabad’s scorecard ticking. Pandey welcomed his half-century with a four taking the responsibility to wheel out SRH while Bairstow failed. Pandey scored 51 off 38 and fell in Andre Russell’s maze.
SRH’s batting line up did not fit much into their innings with a lot of uncanny shots that costed their wickets at a regular interval. The aggression was missing and showing some defensive expressions SRH managed to put a low total of 142 on the board.
Youngster Shubman Gill gave a good start with the bat while facing SRH’s spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They had to bowl out of their skins to defend the total. Khaleel Ahmed removed Sunil Narine with a little back of length ball and Warner made no mistake to clutch the ball. But Bhuvi could not impact with his bowling as he was smashed by Nitish Rana in his second over. Sunrises particularly missed a fast bowler who would bowl at a pace of 140 kph or above. Nitish Rana and Gill gave the sprightly start that helped them to put 38 in four overs. It was a visual delight to watch Rashid Khan taking KKR’s captain Dinesh Karthik’s wicket and bringing then down to 53 for three for. But Eoin Morgan joined the company of Gill and steered the Riders ship safely to the dock. Gill’s 70 off 62 not out embarked a landmark in the ongoing IPL.
SRH have shown a depth in their bowling for the past four years defending the low totals, but in the two games the orange army’s bowling-front failed to showcase. KKR sealed the game with 12 balls to spare. With their seven-wicket triumph over SRH, KKR register their first win in the IPL 2020.