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IPL 2023, KKR vs RCB: Shardul fires with bat; KKR spinners puncture RCB batting order

IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Shardul Thakur-Rinku Singh's 103-run stand, Sunil Narine-Varun Chakravarthy's 6-31 and David Willey's 2-16 are top performances. KKR beat RCB and move to third place.

IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)_ Shardul Thakur's all-round show helps KKR beat RCB_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Shardul Thakur's all-round show helps KKR beat RCB (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores: KKR 204-7 (Thakur 68, Rinku 46, Willey 2-16, Siraj 1-44) beat RCB 123 (Du Plessis 23, Kohli 21, Chakravarthy 4-15, Narine 2-16) by 81 runs

Player of the Match – Shardul Thakur68(29) & 1-15

Korbo lorbo jeetbo re! Such was the spirit of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who were delighted to host Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 6 in their very first home game of the 2023 IPL season. The home crowd was stoked to see their side perform in full swing as they successfully registered their maiden victory of the tournament to kickstart their winning streak.

KKR rattle up 204 and blow away RCB for 123

KKR got off to a wobbly start as they were rocked early on by the sheer brilliance of David Willey who castled the timber of Venkatesh Iyer and Mandeep Singh in quick succession. With wickets tumbling at the other end, Rahmanullah Gurbaz carried on and took the attack to the RCB bowlers scoring a valiant 57 runs off 44 balls. In the end, Shardul Thakur teamed up with Rinku Singh as the duo launched themselves and powered KKR to a commanding score of 204.

In response, RCB commenced their chase on a steady note without losing any wickets in the first four overs. But the introduction of spinners soon triggered a massive flurry of wickets which left RCB reeling at 61-5 by the end of the 10th over. KKR were further rewarded as their impact player Suyansh Sharma got the ball to talk and continued to mount the pressure that was initially created by Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy. The RCB batters succumbed to KKR’s clinical spin bowling attack and were eventually bundled out for a shambolic score of 123 inside 18 overs.

Talking Point: Royal Challenger Bangalore’s horrible outing with the ball

David Willey gave RCB a great start with the ball as he picked up two important wickets to shift the pressure back on the KKR batters. At that moment, KKR batters were yet to tee off when Bracewell and Karn Sharma struck and reduced KKR to 89-5. But unlike the KKR spinners, RCB spinners got very complacent and with the arrival of Thakur at the crease, the RCB bowlers were severely punished and taken to cleaners.

Spinners in particular didn’t quite hit the ground running and allowed the game to slip away by conceding way too many runs in the death overs. Sharma couldn’t complete his quota despite being the leading wicket taker. Shahbaz Ahmed was seriously under-utilised, bowling just the one over on a track that seemed to have assisted the spinners. Not to mention the freebies from Siraj in the penultimate over also added further insult to injury. Overall, RCB got their bowling tactic horribly wrong and allowed KKR to post a total that was impossible for RCB to chase in the second innings.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between RCB and KKR in IPL 2023

IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Shardul Thakur's all-round show helps KKR beat RCB| Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Thakur's all-round show helps KKR beat RCB (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh’s exhilarating 103-run stand

The premature demise of Andre Russell for a golden duck left KKR middle order exposed at 89-5. Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh arrived at the crease and got off to a rollicking start playing some electrifying shots all around the park. They registered a massive 103-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 45 balls that comfortably helped them sail past the 200-run mark. Most of the runs came off Shardul Thakur’s bat as the crowd was simply brought to their feet after witnessing his unprecedented counter. His knock of 68(29) featured 9 fours and 3 sixes that came at an astronomical striker rate of 234.48. Rinku Singh also intensified his stroke play during the death overs scoring 46(33) at an impressive strike rate of just around 140.

IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)_ Varun Chakravarthy took 4-15 against RCB in Eden Garden _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Varun Chakravarthy took 4-15 against RCB in Eden Garden (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine’s 6-31 leave RCB batters gasping for breath

Varun Chakravarthy certainly had a dream run with the ball last night and enjoyed bowling on the pitch that had something for the spinners. He castled the timbers of Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Harshal Patel achieving figures of 4-15 in 3.4 overs while going at just 4.09 RPO.

Chakravarthy, along with his spin bowling counterpart Sunil Narine, maintained the pressure on the RCB batters and kept chipping away with wickets achieving combined figures of 6-31 derailing RCB’s chase and eventually knocking them out of the game. Narine ended his spell with figures of 2-16 whilst going at 4 RPO.

David Willey’s inspiring spell of 2/16

David Willey gave RCB the perfect start with the ball removing Iyer and Singh in two consecutive balls inside the mandatory powerplay. Although not very express, Willey was bowling an immaculate line and kept his channel straight on a wicket which seemed to be on the lower side. In a massive run fest by the KKR, Willey bowled unbelievably well and conceded just 16 runs in his allotted four overs picking up 2 crucial wickets which also included one maiden over. Willey’s spell provided an ideal foundation for the RCB bowlers to restrict Knight Riders to a below par total but with lack of support from the other end, RCB bowlers let the game slip away from their grasp.

Points Table Scenario and What’s Next

After securing the win, Kolkata Knight Riders move up to number 3 spot in the points table while their NRR goes up to 2.506. They will now face Gujarat Titans in their next encounter at Ahmedabad on 9th April. Whereas, RCB faced their very first defeat of the season and plummet to number 7 spot in the points table whilst their NRR took a severe beating and is now down to –1.256. They will head to Bengaluru again to face off Lucknow Super Giants in their next encounter on April 10.

Top twitter reactions from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)


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