IPL 2021: Nitish Rana keeps calm, takes KKR past DC

The win took Kolkata to 10 points from 11 matches as it solidified its position in fourth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table.

Nitish Rana celebrates scoring the winning runs for KKR against Delhi Capitals.   -  IPL/Sportzpics

A team that was more desperate to win, eventually came out stronger.

Chasing 128, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) stuttered but recovered to cross the finish line for an important win as left-handers Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine got it right under pressure to keep Delhi Capitals at bay at Sharjah.

Tuesday’s three-wicket win reinforced KKR’s hold on the fourth spot. DC, too, retained second place.

AS IT HAPPENED

In the 14th over, when KKR was 76/4, Rana provided the first thrust by hitting two sixes off Lalit Yadav’s over that produced 20 runs. Later, in the 16th over, Sunil Narine smashed two sixes and a four as 21 runs
came off Kagiso Rabada.

In a battle within the battle, R. Ashwin made no secret of his joy on scalping Eoin Morgan for a duck after the KKR skipper and the off-spinner were involved in a verbal spat when Delhi batted.

Much before the result was formalised, KKR bowlers provided the platform for its much-needed triumph.

Narine celebrates dismissing Shreyas Iyer. Photo: IPL/Sportzpics



On a surface where the ball tended to grip a little and did not exactly come on to the bat, KKR restricted DC to 127 for nine with a very disciplined display.

Even top-scorer Rishabh Pant did not look convincing as most DC batsmen fell in their attempts to break the shackles.

Shikhar Dhawan opened with Steve Smith, in for an unfit Prithvi Shaw, but departed after a flashy knock. After regaining the Orange cap with a boundary in the first over, Dhawan tried to bat like Shaw and his
over-aggressive approach proved his undoing.

Sunil Narine hit in-form Shreyas Iyer’s off-stump. Smith, after looking impressive in patches, appeared increasingly tired in the afternoon heat and was finally bowled.

Pant could only watch as wickets fell in a heap. Surprisingly, Venkatesh Iyer cracked DC’s middle order with two quick blows and Narine added another as DC struggled at 92/6 in the 16th over before the 100 was reached in the 17th over.

Ashwin and Pant fell in the final over after adding 28 runs together. But the tally never looked big enough to threaten KKR.

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