IPL 2019 | The Uthappa - Rana Stand That Blew Kings XI Punjab Away

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 27, 2019, 11:12 PM IST
IPL 2019 | The Uthappa - Rana Stand That Blew Kings XI Punjab Away

Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa. (IPL)

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Despite Sunil Narine's early carnage against debutant Varun Chakravarthy, Kings XI Punjab seemed to have found a grip in the game by the fourth over when both Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine were back in the hut. What they did not quite account for was Kolkata Knight Riders’ all-time second highest run-scorer, Robin Uthappa, and the man-in-form, Nitish Rana.

The duo combined at 36/2 and put on a 110-run partnership for the third wicket, which is the second best for the third wicket for KKR in IPL. In 2010, Sourav Ganguly and Cheteshwar Pujara were involved in a 111-run stand against Rajasthan Royals at the very same ground which is the highest third-wicket stand for KKR in IPL.

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While it seemed like KKR's firing middle-order would have less of a platform, Rana and Uthappa not only kept the scoreboard ticking but also plundered runs at a fairly good rate.

The partnership was only broken in the 15th over when Rana was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy for his first wicket in the IPL. The left-handed Rana had opened the batting in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad following an injury to Narine, the regular opener. He made the opportunity count and made 68 in 47 balls with three sixes to push his case for a place in the top-order even after Narine returned to full fitness.

Rana registered 63 in 34 balls with seven maximums in this game. This is Rana's third highest score in the IPL with his second highest coming in last game. In 2016, while playing for Mumbai Indians, Rana had made 70 against Gujarat Lions, which remains his highest score in the tournament.

Robin Uthappa, on the other hand, slammed his 24th half-century in the IPL and 16th for Kolkata Knight Riders. He had a slump in form last season at the Eden Gardens and did not make a single half-century at the venue last year. His last 50-plus score at the venue came in 2017 against Delhi Daredevils when he made 59.

In fact, 67 is his highest score in T20 cricket since the 2017 IPL where he had made 87 in 66 balls against Rising Pune Supergiant. He has played in 27 T20 games in that period including IPL 2018 and two Syed Mushtaq Ali tournaments.


First Published: March 27, 2019, 11:11 PM IST
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