High-flyers Delhi Capitals succumbed to their third defeat of the IPL 2021 season after Kolkata Knight Riders riding on Sunil Narine’s all-round performance registered a win over Rishabh Pant’s team.
At the beginning of the match, after losing the toss the Delhi skipper had said that something over 140 would be a good total in this pitch, but commendable performance with the ball by Locki Ferguson, Sunil Narine and their newfound star opener Venkatesh Iyer restricted Delhi to 127 at the end of 20 overs.
Only Steve Smith, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant could score in double figures for DC.
In reply, Kolkata were off to a fast start as Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill took on Delhi’s enviable bowling line-up head on. Kolkata lost two wickets inside first 6 overs and were then put on chokehold. KKR were 43/2 in the 6th over and then they lost Shubman Gill and skipper Eoin Morgan in quick succession and slumped to 67/4.
Though Dinesh Karthik and Rana tried to resurrect the innings, mixing caution with aggression, the equation looked a bit stiff at 52 off 43 balls considering the slow nature of the pitch. However, KKR scored 20 runs off the 14th over bowled by Lalit Yadav with Rana blasting a couple of sixes off successive balls and Karthik hitting a four. But Karthik got out, castled while trying to run a slower one by Avesh Khan to the third man, Delhi were still in the hunt. That’s when Sunil Narine took things in his own hands as he took 21 runs of Kagiso Rabada’s bowling in the 16th over. That turned the tables as KKR got home with 10 balls remaining.
“I think we were 10 short, not much. We knew wicket would slow down in the second innings. But every team is trying to win the match. We want to give 100% and if it doesn’t go our way we will learn and move on," said Rishabh Pant after the match.
“Batting was pretty difficult for new batters. We wanted to capitalise in the end with the bat, but we lost wickets and ended up 10 short," Pant added.
The Delhi skipper was however, happy with his bowlers, “Bowling performance - really happy. There isn’t a massive change that we need to do."
With this win, Kolkata Knight Riders moved to 10 points from 11 matches and maintained their chances of reaching the knockout stage.