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Turning Point: KKR lose wickets in a heap...

April 30, 2021 06:43 IST
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Kolkata Knight Riders' Sunil Narine is bowled by Delhi Capitals' Lalit Yadav for a duck

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders' Sunil Narine is bowled by Delhi Capitals' Lalit Yadav for a duck. Photograph: BCCI

Opting to bowl after winning the toss proved a prudent decision for Delhi Capitals Captain Rishabh Pant.

Kolkata Knight Riders openers Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana found the going tough against the DC bowlers. They started off slowly, scoring at just about a run-a-ball before Rana was foxed by Axar Patel and stumped for 15 just after clobbering the bowler for a six.

Rahul Tripathi and Gill rallied the KKR innings and scored at a brisk pace. Gill was looking in good nick and Tripathi also showed urgency in his batting.

But then Pant brought in Marcus Stoinis into the attack and after being hammered for a four, the Aussie all-rounder got his revenge the very next ball -- slowish and fuller -- and Tripathi chipped it into the air to hand Lalit Yadav an easy catch.

This wicket opened the floodgates and KKR witnessed a mini-collapse, going from 69-1 to 82-5 in a matter of overs.

In the very next over, spinner Lalit had KKR Captain Eoin Morgan caught by Steve Smith in the deep and two balls later had Sunil Narine bowled all ends up -- both batsmen out for ducks.

A couple of overs later, it was Gill's turn to return to the dug out as he went for the big heave off a slower one, mistimed it and was caught in the deep by Smith.

With half of KKR's side back in the dugout, their last recognised batters in Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell were in the middle. The duo got a four and two sixes, but they just could not wield their willows consistently enough in those middle overs.

Dre Russ and Pat Cummins finished the innings in a flourish, scoring 42 off the last three overs.

But on a good batting track that it was, 174 was always a below par score as Delhi walked away with the match without breaking much sweat.

KKR needed a score in the range of 190-200 to put up a challenge. But losing 5 wickets inside the first 10 overs with little on the board meant pressure on the lower order batsmen.

KKR missed a trick by sending Narine ahead of Russell, the latter should have been given more overs to bat and allowed to settle before stepping on the gas to give KKR's total a boost.

Also during Delhi's innings, Morgan's decision of not bowling Cummins until the 6th over proved expensive as KKR needed early wickets to give themselves a shot at winning. Cummins eventually finished with three wickets.

It seemed like Morgan is not able to execute plans made at team meetings, his captaincy found wanting this season.

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