x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders finally show off their potential

Kolkata Knight Riders put up the kind of performance that made them champions last season, winning by eight wickets in a one-sided encounter against the Rajasthan Royals.

Sunil Narine, pictured in last year's Indian Premier League action, helped the Kolkata Knight Riders finally show their potential on Friday night with a victory over Rajasthan.
Sunil Narine, pictured in last year's Indian Premier League action, helped the Kolkata Knight Riders finally show their potential on Friday night with a victory over Rajasthan.

Toss Rajasthan, chose to bat

Rajasthan Samson 40, Watson 35,  Shah 24; Senanayake 4-26

Kolkata Pathan 49n.o, Kallis 33 n.o, Bisla 29; Faulkner 0-16

Man of the match Yusuf Pathan (Kolkata)

 

It has not happened often in this season's Indian Premier League, but on Friday night the Kolkata Knight Riders put up the kind of performance that made them champions last season, winning by eight wickets in a one-sided encounter against the Rajasthan Royals.

The Rajasthan innings, after they won the toss and batted, was easily summed up by three talking points - Kolkata's bowling, Sanju Samson's innings and Rahul Dravid's decision to keep himself away from the crease till the fourth ball of the final over.

On the night, the pitch being used was inert and Kolkata, predicting that possibility, had packed their XI with slow bowlers.

They all played their part to restrict Rajasthan to 132 for six.

Sumit Narwal, the Delhi medium pacer, was patchy and bowled only two overs.

But Sunil Narine, Sachithra Senanayeke, Rajat Bhatia and Jacques Kallis were all on the spot. The delivery Senanayeke had Ajinkya Rahane stumped with was the pick of the lot - it was flighted, dipped to fool Rahane and turned sufficiently to beat the bat.

But Narine was the star, and in his first over, the 11th of innings, he made Shane Watson appear amateurish.

Watson flailed at thin air before being dismissed leg before off the fifth delivery.

If Narine was the bowling hero, Samson did his growing reputation no harm by scoring a 36-ball 40 that was aggressive in patches and so sensible at other times that he belied his 18 years

Dravid, meanwhile, chose to watch the proceedings from the dugout as James Faulkner, Samson, Dishant Yagnik, Owais Shah and Stuart Binny all went in ahead of him.

Was it because he didn't trust himself to score quickly or was there a bigger game plan?

In the end, he faced only three balls, collecting a four and a two off them.

Kolkata needed to plan their reply smartly and they got a good start courtesy Gautam Gambhir (12) and Manvinder Bisla (29), who added 41.

When both were dismissed Yusuf Pathan (49 not out) and Jacques Kallis (33 not out) then took up the charge and took Kolkata home with 16 balls to spare - a huge margin in Twenty20 cricket.

Shamya Dasgupta is a senior editor at Wisden India

sports@thenational.ae

 

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