Kolkata: The return of Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens has been vigorous. Recovering from the disappointment of defeat in the first match of IPL 2023, Kolkata Royal Challengers Bangalore badly washed. Every single Bangalore batsman got trapped in the trap of Kolkata’s three spinners and the whole team collapsed after scoring only 123 runs. KKR, who scored 204 runs on the basis of Shardul Thakur’s amazing innings, thus won the match by 81 runs and opened the account in the new season.
The history of IPL has been that most of the matches between these two teams have either been one-sided or have been thrilling till the very last ball. Something similar happened this time too. After the way Bangalore started, such a one-sided result was not expected. But Kolkata first returned to the match with the explosive batting of Shardul Thakur. Then Bangalore collapsed in front of the mystery spin of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakraborty and debutant Suyash Sharma.
Kohli-Duplessy’s fast batting
The manner in which Virat Kohli and Faf Duplesey batted strongly against Mumbai Indians, both of them did some similar starts against Kolkata. The requirement was similar as the target was 205 runs. Both had hit 42 runs in 4 matches but they came against fast bowlers. Spin started in the fifth over and from here the downfall of Bangalore started. Sunil Narine bowled Virat Kohli in his very first over.
Mystery of spinners destroyed
Kohli’s boldness on Narine’s googly had such an effect that after this the next three batsmen also became bold and all three became victims of Varun Chakraborty’s googly. Even veterans like Faf Duplesey and Glenn Maxwell could not understand the googly. 19-year-old spinner Suyash, who came as an impact player, also showed his mettle and took 3 wickets including Dinesh Karthik. At the same time, Shardul, who did wonders with the bat, took the wicket of Michael Bracewell. If David Willey and Akash Deep did not add 27 runs for the last wicket, RCB would not have been able to score even 100 runs.
RCB’s strong start
Talking about Kolkata’s batting, something similar was seen happening here in the beginning. David Willey bowled Venkatesh Iyer and Mandeep Singh on consecutive balls in the fourth over. Captain Nitish Rana also did not last long. Meanwhile, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz was playing a strong innings and had scored a half-century. Then in the 12th over, Karn Sharma took the biggest wickets in consecutive balls in the form of Gurbaj (57) and Andre Russell (0).
There were only 89 runs and 5 wickets of KKR had fallen. It seemed that even 150 runs of Kolkata would not be scored.
Shardul turned water on desires
Perhaps Bangalore must have thought the same and due to this thinking its bowlers went astray. Especially Mohammad Siraj, Akash Deep and Harshal Patel forgot the exact line and length. Took advantage of this, Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh (46 runs, 33 balls) both made a surprising partnership of 103 runs for the sixth wicket to bring the team close to 200 runs. Shardul (68 runs, 29 balls) had completed Fifty in just 20 balls.