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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Cricket » Turning Point: Thakur-Rinku's Fightback!

Turning Point: Thakur-Rinku's Fightback!

April 07, 2023 10:42 IST
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IMAGE: Shardul Thakur with Rinku Singh. Photograph: BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders were unlucky to go down by a narrow margin in the rain-hit opening match against Punjab Kings, but they bounced back in grand style with a dominating performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday.

KKR have been hit hard by injury to their captain Shreyas Iyer while key all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has also pulled out of the tournament.

But they showed great spirit as they registered a come-from-behind victory against RCB led by a match-winning knock from Shardul Thakur and fine showing with the ball from their spin trio of Varun Chakrvarthy, Sunil Narine and Suyash Sharma.

It looked like a familiar story once again for KKR, who finished seventh last season, as they collapsed to 89/5 in the 12th over after being put into bat.

Thakur changed the complexion of the match with his stunning counter-attack, ably supported by Rinku Singh, who despite struggling to find his timing early on, worked hard to support his partner at the other end.

Thakur started off in aggressive fashion, hitting boundaries regularly to put the pressure back on RCB bowlers.

Thakur's back to back sixes off Michael Bracewell helped KKR seize the momentum as 46 came from the last three overs. Such was all-rounder Thakur's dominance that he scored 41 runs in the 50-run stand for the sixth wicket with Rinku.

While Thakur blasted his way to an entertaining fifty from just 20 balls, Rinku struggled to 22 from as many balls.

Rinku finally got going in the 18th over when he scooped Mohammed Siraj's high full toss for a six over the wicket-keeper. He then smashed Harshal Patel for a couple of sixes and a four in the penultimate over before he was dismissed for 46 from 33 balls -- his last 23 runs coming from just eight balls.

Thakur perished in the final over after a career-best knock of 68 from 29 balls, laced with nine fours and three sixes, -- the second-highest score by a No 7 batter in the IPL.

The duo put on 103 runs for the sixth wicket from just 47 balls to turn the match on its head as KKR recovered from a horror start to finish on 204/7 in their 20 overs, putting on 110 in the last eight overs.

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