Images from Saturday's IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals, in Abu Dhabi.
Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy produced the best bowling performance of this Indian Premier League season, claiming five wickets, as Kolkata Knight Riders overwhelmed Delhi Capitals by 59 runs in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
That was after Nitish Rana (81 off 53 balls), promoted to open the innings, revelled in his new role as he made light of the death of his father-in-law Surinder Marwah on Friday, to smash a whirlwind 81.
He and Sunil Narine (64) shared a game-changing 115-run stand to rally Kolkata Knight Riders to an imposing 194 for 6 after being put in to bat.
Chasing the stiff target, Chakravarthy (5 for 20) and Pat Cummins (3 for 17) gave the Delhi Capitals batsmen a torrid time to restrict them to 135 for 9 in 20 overs.
Cummins gave the Knight Riders the perfect start, dismissing openers Ajinkya Rahane (0) and the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (6) in his first two overs.
Then 'Man of the match' Chakravarthy played the finisher's role in the back-end of the innings to choke Delhi’s run-chase.
Back in action after the disappointing show against Royal Challengers Bangalore, when they crumbled to 84 for 8, the Knight Riders ticked all the boxes to keep their play-off hopes alive by securing their sixth win, with three matches left.
This was Delhi Capitals’s second successive reverse, but they still maintain second spot on the points table.
Skipper Sheryas Iyer was Delhi’s top-scorer with 47. He and Rishabh Pant (27) batted well after Cummins dealt early blows and took on the opposition attack in the second half.
However, Kolkata’s strategy to introduce Chakravarthy paid dividends.
The spinner opened his account when Pant holed out at deep square leg and in his next over he got two in two, dismissing Shimron Hetmyer (10) and Iyer off consecutive deliveries.
Hetmyer fell while trying to clear the long-on boundary, while Iyer could not connect well and was caught by Kamlesh Nagarkoti at long-on.
In his next over, Chakravarthy dismissed Marcus Stoinis and then picked his five-for off the fifth delivery, cleaning up Axar Patel with a straight one.
Earlier, Rana revelled in his new opening role with a whirlwind 81 and Narine smashed a 32-ball 64 to propel Kolkata Knight Riders to a commanding 194 for 6.
Promoted to open, Rana smashed 13 fours and a six in his 53-ball 81, while Narine also came out all guns blazing, smacking four sixes and six fours, as Kolkata Knight Riders put behind their horror show against Royal Challengers Bangalore to post a stiff total after being asked to bat.
The left-handed duo stitched together 115 runs from just 59 balls to seize the momentum.
Having crumbled for 84 in their last match against Royal Challengers, the Knight Riders were against staring down the barrel at 42/3 after 7.2 overs.
Anrich Nortje grabbed the wickets of the under-performing Shubman Gill (9) and Rahul Tripathi (13) inside the Powerplay, while Kagiso Rabada accounted for Dinesh Karthik (3).
Just when KKR's tale of batting woes began to unfold, Rana got into the rescue act, taking the attack to the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin in an over that yielded 13 runs.
He first smacked Ashwin's tossed up delivery for a six and followed it up with a boundary.
In the next over, Narine joined in to continue Kolkata’a run-feast in the back-end of the innings in an incredible partnership.
Delhi Capitals brought back Nortje but there was no respite for them and Rana brought up his fifty with an outside edge.
He was then seen dedicating his half-century to his father-in-law, who died of cancer recently, by showing a jersey customised by KKR as a special tribute to him.
Narine then hammered Marcus Stoinis by hitting him for a six and a four making the formidable Delhi attack look mediocre.
For Delhi, Ashwin was the most expensive and looked ordinary, conceding 45 runs from his three overs, while Nortje (2/27), Rabada (2/33) and Stoinis (2/41) took two wickets each.