KKR hold nerve to clinch thriller

Russell bowled a crucial spell

In what turned out to be a cliffhanger at Eden Gardens, Royal Challengers Bengaluru slipped to a heartbreaking one-run loss against Kolkata Knight Riders. The beleaguered RCB side made a good fist of a 223-run chase before losing their seventh match of the season. KKR are now placed second in the table. 

Drama and action in the final over

With just an over to go, RCB were precariously placed at 202 for 8. However, Karn Sharma, their No. 10 batter, gave them renewed hope by smacking Mitchell Starc for three sixes. He could have been dismissed, but the third umpire deemed Phil Salt had not taken the catch cleanly. It all came down to three runs off two balls. At that juncture, Karn hit one back at Starc, who pouched a fine return catch. Lockie Fergsuon then was run out, going for a second run. 

Slick bowling from KKR

Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravrthy and Harshit Rana made vital contributions after the completion of 10 overs to ensure KKR’s win. After 11 overs, RCB were in a strong position at 137 for 2. At that stage of the innings, Russell bagged the key scalps of both Rajat Patidar and Will Jacks to put the opponents on the back foot. Narine then dismissed Mahipal Lomror and Cameron Green to leave RCB six down.

Suyash Prabhudessai and Dinesh Karthik strung together a stand of 32. It was the 17th over bowled by Varun that provided KKR some breathing space as he gave away a mere five runs. Harshit Rana followed it up with some fine defensive bowling to keep the batting duo largely quiet. In the 19th over, Russell didn’t just take the prized scalp of Karthik but kept it down to 10 runs. Although there was some last-over heroics from Karn, it was not enough to steer RCB home.

Controversy over Kohli’s dismissal

Earlier, Patidar and Jacks had shared a stand of 102, which didn’t just prop up RCB’s innings, but by the time both were dismissed, the visitors were ahead on the required run-rate. Once more, Starc came in for some punishment. Patidar also took on the spin pair of Suyash Sharma and Narine and thumped four sixes as well as two boundaries over two overs. 

There was also a bit of controversy during RCB’s innings. Virat Kohli was furious with a caught and bowled decision. The RCB opener believed that the ball was above waist height. Michael Gough, the TV umpire, though, adjudged that the ball had dipped enough. The ball-tracking suggested that it would have been below the waist if Kohli were to be in his normal batting stance. 

Phil Salt, Shreyas Iyer and Ramandeep Singh power KKR’s score

Salt, who seems to have some similarity to Jason Roy’s batting, cracked a volley of shots. Ferguson, in particular, was hit to all parts of the ground. Shreyas’ 36-ball 50 and Ramndeep’s 9-ball unbeaten 24 in the slog overs also proved to be decisive factors in taking their side past the 200-run mark.