KKR hammer LSG, go top of the table

Source (BCCI X)

Kolkata Knight Riders clinched a convincing victory against Lucknow Super Giants with a strong display across all departments. Sunil Narine’s magnificent 81 laid the foundation for KKR’s imposing total of 235. Meanwhile, the bowlers played their part by consistently taking wickets at crucial moments, preventing LSG from finding their rhythm during the chase. The hosts were bowled out for 137 in 16.1 overs, losing the game by 98 runs.

With 16 points from 11 matches, KKR have moved to the top of the table, thanks to their superior run rate vis-a-vis Rajasthan Royals. 

Salt and Narine provide KKR with perfect start

KKR’s opening combination has been a standout feature in this IPL and tonight was no exception, as they asserted their dominance once again during the Powerplay. Both Salt and Narine have adhered closely to the IPL’s winning formula of providing a solid start to their team. Salt wasted no time in getting the runs flowing, showcasing his aggressive style of play with an impressive strike-rate of 228.57. Despite his promising start, Salt would rue his dismissal for 32, caught behind by KL Rahul. However, his contribution laid a strong foundation for KKR’s innings. Narine, on the other hand, capitalised on the platform set by Salt, continuing his onslaught against the LSG bowlers. Displaying his renewed batting abilities this season. Narine played a scintillating knock of 81 runs from just 39 deliveries, putting KKR in a commanding position.

LSG bowlers make a comeback in the middle

Despite KKR’s strong start, LSG managed to claw their way back into the game through some smart cricket. After the dismissal of Narine, Andre Russell was sent up the order to unleash his power-hitting skills. However, Russell’s stay at the crease was short-lived as he fell for just 12 runs, caught brilliantly by substitute fielder Krishnappa Gowtham, who took the catch running back from cover. Following Russell’s departure, Angkrish Raghuvnashi failed to capitalise on his start and was dismissed for 32, edging a delivery behind to Rahul. Rinku Singh, who has had limited batting opportunities in this IPL, also struggled to get going and was dismissed for 16, skying the ball straight up in the air for an easy catch to Marcus Stoinis. The wickets halted KKR’s momentum in the middle and allowed LSG to regain some control.

Ramandeep provides a strong finish for KKR

Despite losing wickets in the middle overs, KKR aimed for a strong finish to their innings after the solid start provided by their openers. The late surge in runs came from the bat of Ramandeep Singh, who played a brilliant cameo, scoring 25 off just six deliveries at a staggering strike-rate of 416.67. Despite his limited time at the crease, Ramandeep kept his approach simple, focusing on timing the ball well, which resulted in several boundaries and over-boundaries. Thanks to Ramandeep’s late onslaught, KKR managed to post a formidable total of 235/6.

KKR strike big in the first 10 overs

In pursuit of a daunting target of 235, building substantial partnerships became crucial for LSG. Despite getting off to decent starts, none of their top four batsmen managed to convert them into big scores. Arshin Kulkarni was the first to depart, dismissed for nine by an outstanding catch from Ramandeep, who ran backwards and dived full-length to take it off Mitchell Starc’s bowling. Skipper Rahul could only manage 25 runs, credit to Harshit Rana’s tactical bowling. Deepak Hooda’s stay at the crease was brief, scoring just five before being caught in front by Varun Chakaravarthy. Even the dangerous Marcus Stoinis, who looked set on 36, couldn’t capitalise and fell victim to a delivery from Russell that rose sharply, putting KKR well and truly ahead in the first 10 overs.

LSG choke under pressure

With few wickets in hand and a mounting required run rate, the chase became increasingly challenging for LSG. The pressure intensified with the dismissal of their star batsman Nicholas Pooran for just 10 runs, caught behind by Salt. Ayush Badoni, another emerging talent, also found it tough in the middle, managing only 15 runs before falling to Narine’s guile. As wickets fell at regular intervals, KKR cruised to a relatively comfortable victory, with the LSG batters making a mess of the chase.

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