Kolkata Knight Riders were handed a responsibility of chasing a mammoth score of 206 runs to get past the home favourites Royal Challengers from Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. ‘The Men in Purple and Gold’ elected to bowl first after the coin flipped in favour of Dinesh Karthik.
The captain-wicketkeeper duo of Kohli- Parthiv opened the innings for the Challengers and added 64 runs for the 1st wicket. 53 runs in the powerplay with Kohli being in good form gave an early indication of a high score thriller on the pitch termed as a “batting-paradise.” Supported by the superman AB de Villiers, the Proteas batsmen shared a century stand along with RCB skipper. With the help of 9 boundaries and 2 maximum, Kohli fell prey of Kuldeep Yadav at 84 in the 18th over. However, a 13-ball-28 run cameo by Marcus Stoinis towards the end helped the home side get past 200 at ease.
Post Kohli-De Villiers setting up the fire at the RCB camp, the match demanded a marginal better performance by KKR to disappoint the hosts. Chris Lynn and Robbie Uthappa put things back on track post dismissal of Narine early in the run chase. A handy knock of 33 off 25 balls by the wicketkeeper-batsmen of KKR set up the tone in the dugout. But, Pawan Negi turned the scenario by dismissing both the batsmen in quick succession during his last over of his 1st spell.
Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik were kept on backfoot by right-arm leg break Yuzvendra Chahal. The spin-fast lethal partnership of Chahal and Saini get rid of the both set middle-order batsmen of the Riders leaving the match scenario in a very tricky position with latter in hunt of 54 runs from the last 4 overs of the match. With an aim of replicating the scenario from the 2018 season where Mohammed Siraj got rid off the West Indian for a golden duck at the very same venue, the seamer seemed far off of replicating the same.
Andre Russel had came prepared for all the variations including the Siraj beamer and was reflected through his performance on the field as the Jamaican hitter smashed Siraj, Southee and Stoinis a total of 8 times including 7 maximum. Kolkata won the match with ease sparing 5 balls to register their 3rd win of the season.
The Knight Riders from Kolkata became the 5th team in this edition to win a game outside their home ground. The tournament promises many game changing performances as the season moves forward.
Here is how the Twitter-verse reacted to the match:-
— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) April 5, 2019
When you think it’s done n dusted…look around and wait… is Andre Russel still around!
He is leaving bowlers speechless! #KKRvRCB @IPL what skill and power on display. 7 sixes in his 48 off 13 balls 🙌🏻
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) April 5, 2019
Well played boys @KKRiders @lynny50 @NitishRana_27 @robbieuthappa . Each one in the team did so well but you all will agree all words of praise r worth less than this picture… pic.twitter.com/bak2zQ9NqD
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 5, 2019