Ex-captain Dinesh Karthik’s carefree approach was well complemented by skipper Eoin Morgan’s grace as Kolkata Knight Riders managed a par 163 for five against a disciplined Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match, here on Sunday.
Karthik (29 not out) and Morgan (34 off 23 balls) joined forces at 105 for four and added 58 runs in the last five overs after 150 was looking a tall-order at one stage.
Morgan’s innings had three fours and a flicked six over mid-wicket off Basil Thampi while Karthik hit a couple of sixes and equal number of boundaries.
T Natarajan (2/40) was the most successful bowler but it was Vijay Shankar (1/20 in 4 overs) who was the most economical.
Rahul Tripathi (23 off 15 balls) gave the first charge in the Powerplay as he hit Natarajan for a straight six and a pulled boundary while Shubman Gill (36 off 37 balls) struggled to time the ball, save an over from Thampi when he got three successive fours.
Tripathi couldn’t maintain the momentum as an ugly cross-batted hoick off Natarajan only ended in the bails flying off.
Gill however after those flurry of fours found it difficult to up the ante. Nitish Rana (29 off 19 balls) looked in good nick after a gap of few games.
He straight away took on rival team’s best bowler Rashid Khan and deposited him straight for a six and also found a couple of boundaries.
But Gill’s inability to rotate strike did put KKR in a spot of bother as he tried an inside out lofted shot off Rashid. Priyam Garg, running towards his left from long-off, took a brilliant diving catch to see the opener’s back.
Gill’s dismissal was followed by Rana’s who mis-timed a shot off Vijay Shankar and was again caught by Garg, who ran forward to take a well-judged catch.
Andre Russell’s (9 off 11 balls) season just got from bad to worse as his shot off Natarajan’s slower one landed in the hands of Shankar at deep mid-wicket boundary. From a stable 87 for 1 in the 12th over, KKR had slumped to 105 for 4 at the end of the 15th over.