Sunil Narine turned to be a trump card for Kolkata Knight Riders as he replaced injured Andre Russell. Narine repaid that faith with an influential all-round display that led the Knight Riders to their third win in four games in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
On a tricky, two-paced pitch in Sharjah, Delhi Capitals only managed 127 after being sent in, with Narine looking un-hittable while finishing with 2 for 18 in his four overs. The chase was a stop-start affair, and there were moments when it seemed like the game could go either way, not least when Narine walked in with the Knight Riders needing 32 off 32 with five wickets in hand. Narine clattered 21 off 10 balls, quickly reinforcing the smallness of the target.
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First Innings: DC vs KKR
Four overs into the match, it wasn’t yet fully apparent how this pitch would play. Knight Riders went all-pace in the powerplay, and Shikhar Dhawan used the pace on offer from Sandeep Warrier and Tim Southee to pick up five fours in 16 balls. By the fifth over, Knight Riders had worked out that slower balls and cross-seam balls bowled into the pitch was the way to go for the seamers. Capitals 35 for 1 in five overs.
From the 6th over to the 11th, it was all about Knight Riders’ mystery spinners. Both of them bowl quick and into the pitch denying batters easy hits down the ground. These were vital hits, with Rishabh Pant struggling for timing at the other end. KKR found some late success after Cummins dismissed Shaw and the DC skipper in the same over.
Second Innings: DC vs KKR
With Pant unable to find the boundary with any real frequency at his end, the Capitals innings ground to a halt, their last nine overs bringing them just 54 runs for the loss of nine wickets. As KKR came to bat, their openers did a good job & provided some momentum to the middle order. Shubman Gill delivered crucial early hits. Stepping out in the second over to hit Axar Patel back over his head for the first six of the match. By this time the Knight Riders had also lost Rahul Tripathi, but they were keeping themselves ahead of the required rate.
By the time Karthik departed, Knight Riders were still in control of the required rate. Narine’s arrival only brought them more luck. He made Rabada his target & turned every pan of his into boundaries.
Delhi Capitals: 156/3 (Prithvi Shaw 82, Shikhar Dhawan 46; Pat Cummins 3/24) beat Kolkata Knight Riders: 154/6 (Andre Russell 45*, Shubman Gill 43; Lalit Yadav 2/13) by 7 wickets.