KKR’s Shardul, spinners script big victory against Royal Challengers

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KKR’s Shardul, spinners script big victory against Royal Challengers

Kolkata: Shardul Thakur smashed a counterattacking half-century before the spinners played their part to perfection as Kolkata Knight Riders made a memorable homecoming with an 81-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL here today. Kolkata found themselves tottering for 89/5 before Thakur led a superb recovery with his 29-ball 68 to power his team to 204/7 after Bangalore opted to bowl. Coming in at No. 7, Thakur hammered the joint-fastest fifty of the season off 20 balls and shared an entertaining 103-run partnership off 47 balls with Rinku Singh (46 off 33).

Varun Chakravarthy landed big blows by dismissing RCB captain Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell. In reply, Bangalore failed folded up for 123 in 17.4 overs with the trio of Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and debutant Suyash Sharma sharing eight wickets between themselves. It was KKR’s first win of the season. Thakur also took one wicket in his all-round show in Kolkata’s first home match after almost four years.

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Bangalore were going great at 44/0 in 25 balls in pursuit of the chase before Narine triggered the collapse, foxing Virat Kohli (21) with a beauty in his 150th IPL match. Chakravarthy then landed big blows by dismissing RCB captain Faf du Plessis (23), Glenn Maxwell (5) and Harshal Patel (0) before ending with splendid figures of 3.4-0-15-4.

Thereafter, it was the 19-year-old leg-spinner Suyash (4-0-30-3) who made a dream debut after being included as an Impact Player in place of Venkatesh Iyer. The long-haired mystery spinner got two wickets in one over to leave Kolkata reeling at 86/8. Suyash got his maiden wicket when he deceived Anju Rawat (1) with a tossed-up delivery and in space of three balls, he grabbed the prized-scalp of Dinesh Karthik (9) with a fuller delivery. Earlier, David Willey (4-1-16-2) and Karn Sharma (3-0-26-2) took wickets off successive deliveries in the Powerplay and middle overs, respectively, to give Bangalore the initial edge.

Brief scores: KKR: 204/7 (Thakur 68, Gurbaz 57, Rinku 46; Willey 2/16, Sharma 2/26); RCB: 123 in 17.4 overs (du Plessis 23, Kohli 21; Chakravarthy 4/15, Sharma 3/30, Narine 2/16).

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