Traded player Shardul Thakur underlined his immense value as an all-rounder, slamming his maiden T20 half-century and claiming one wicket, as Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back from a loss to record an emphatic 81-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on its homecoming after almost four years at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Asked to bat, KKR relied on magnificent fifties from two traded players, Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Shardul, to enable KKR post a formidable 204 for seven.
The host benefitted from the magic of its spinners, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, who captured four wickets, and debutant impact player Suyash Sharma, to bundle out RCB for 123.
Gurbaz (57, 44b, 6x4, 3x6), traded from Gujarat Titans, impressed a packed house by single-handedly gathering runs to give KKR a decent start despite the loss of three wickets inside seven overs.
Even as the experienced David Willey, who bowled a good length and extracted some movement, castled Venkatesh Iyer and Mandeep Singh in consecutive deliveries, and Michael Bracewell removed captain Nitish Rana, Gurbaz, gifted with a clear head and a pair of agile feet, was at ease against pacers and spinners alike in executing some stunning hits and gathering useful singles.
Read the full match report here
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