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IPL 2020: Gill, Morgan ignite Kolkata Knight Riders' campaign

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on September 26, 2020
Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. - BCCI/IPL

KKR beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 7 wickets to notch first win

Kolkata Knight Riders ignited their campaign with a victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low-scoring IPL game in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

Despite encountering some hiccups along the way while chasing a meagre target of 143, the two-time champions managed to work off a seven-wicket victory at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

KKR opener Shubman Gill top scored with an unbeaten 70, his fifth IPL fifty, and he and Eoin Morgan, England's World Cup-winning captain, took them home with two overs to spare.

Gill's sturdy knock of 70 came from 62 deliveries and was studded with five boundaries and two sixes, while Morgan made an unbeaten 29-ball 42 with three boundaries and two sixes.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad tried to make a fist of it by taking three wickets but the game was as good as over after they had spluttered to a modest total of 142 for 4 after opting to bat.

No.3 batsman Manish Pandey came up with a half-century as the Sunrisers Hyderabad posted a score that was well under par.

The Karnataka batsman, who became the first Indian to score a century in the IPL when playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, scored his 16th fifty. But it was to go in vain.

The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik used seven bowlers to throttle and keep a lid on the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting line-up.

Pandey's 51 came from 38 deliveries and contained three boundaries and two sixes. Opener David Warner made 36, while Saha scored 30.

It was KKR's first win of the tournament following their loss to the Mumbai Indians, while the Sunrisers' wait continues.

Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner won the toss and opted to have a first go on the surface.

Hyderabad tinkered with their line-up by making three changes. Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi came in for Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who was ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury that he had suffered against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Vijay Shankar, who had a bad back, made way for wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, while Khaleel Ahmed replaced Sandeep Sharma.

The Kolkata Knight Riders handed a T20 debut to Kamlesh Nagarkoti and they also picked Tamil Nadu's mystery leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

It was a cautious beginning by Sunrisers Hyderabad with the openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow kept in check by West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine and Australian pacer Pat Cummins in the opening two overs.

Warner then flexed his arms by clubbing Narine for a six and a boundary in the third over, first hoisting him over the long-on ropes and then dispatching a short ball to the midwicket fence.

Bairstow was all over the place against Cummins in the fourth over with Karthik holding on to the catch. But the Englishman reviewed successfully to stay at the crease but not long enough though as he was castled the next ball.

Bairstow tried to drive Cummins but missed the ball which hit the seam and it crashed onto his stumps.

Sunrisers Hyderabad were 40 for one after the powerplay and Warner and one-down Manish Pandey then went on to add 35 for the second wicket.

Warner was looking in decent touch but his knock was put to an end by architect-turned-cricketer Chakravarthy, who held onto the return catch.

The southpaw's 36 came from 30 balls with two boundaries and a six.

Pandey and Saha then came up with a 62-run stand for the third wicket with the former reaching his 50 from 35 balls, with three boundaries and two sixes.

Brief scores:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 142-4 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 51, David Warner 36, Wriddhiman Saha 30, Mohammad Nabi 11 not out) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders: 145-3 in 18 overs (Shubman Gill 70 not out, Eoin Morgan 42 not out, Nitish Rana 26) by 7 wickets.

Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (C) (wk), Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Jonny Bairstow (wk), David Warner (C), Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Mohammad Nabi, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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