IPL 2021: Morgan hails KKR's outstanding performance against RCB

AB de Villiers of RCB gets clean bowled during the match against KKR. (BCCI)
AB de Villiers of RCB gets clean bowled during the match against KKR. (BCCI)

Abu Dhabi - Kolkata kept their playoff hopes alive with the emphatic nine-wicket win over Bangalore


Published: Mon 20 Sep 2021, 11:40 PM

Kolkata Knight Riders came up with a superlative all-round display to spoil Virat Kohli’s 200th Indian Premier League (IPL) appearance on Monday.

Backed by their bowlers’s outspending display, the Knight Riders first restricted Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore to a paltry 92.

Then the KKR batsmen dominated the RCB bowlers at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi as the two-time champions won by nine wickets.

Kohli, who is quitting the Bangalore captaincy after this season, won the toss but scored only 5 as Andre Russell (3-9) and Varun Chakravarthy (3-13) routed Bangalore for 92 with an over to spare.

Kolkata, desperately needing a victory to stay in the competition for the playoffs, raced to 94-1 in just 10 overs with Shubman Gill (48) missing out on a deserved half-century and Venkatesh Iyer unbeaten on 41 off 27 balls.

Gill tried to complete a half-century with a big hit off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal but holed out at long off when Kolkata needing just 11 more runs.

“Bit of a wake up call so that we know what we should work on,” Kohli said. “You can make the argument that we were rusty but as professionals you’re expected to turn up and adjust. Sometimes it can take you a game, I hope not two.”

Earlier, Kohli hit a cover drive to the boundary off fast bowler Prasidh Krishna’s first over before falling lbw to the paceman off the next ball while attempting to flick the ball to square leg.

Russell took the spine out of Bangalore’s batting with an immaculate yorker that clean-bowled AB de Villiers off the first ball the South African faced.

Varun, included in India’s T20 World Cup squad as the fifth spinner, hurried the middle order collapse by dismissing Glenn Maxwell (10), Sachin Baby (7), and Wanindu Hasaranga (0).

Varun also featured in a run out of Kyle Jamieson and wrapped up the innings by taking a clean catch of last man Mohammed Siraj (8), giving Russell a third wicket.

“When I have the ball in my hand, I try to assess the pitch,” Varun said.

“It was flat, credit to the bowlers for bowling well in the PP (power-play). I like to set it up for the bowlers who come on after me. There wasn’t much spin on offer, so I had to keep my line on the stumps only. Playing for India has made me feel better, I have a sense of acceptance from people around me, because I started at 26.”

Kolkata captain Eoin Morgan was delighted with the overall performance of the team.

“Very rarely do you perform as well as we have today,” the England World Cup-winning captain said after the match.

“The talent we have within our squad, it counts for nothing, you have to still go out and show how strong you are and we did today. We have a long way to go, need a lot of things to go right. Today’s the right start, need that run of confidence. We haven’t turned up for the majority of the tournament, but today was a great start.”

Kolkata moved up to fifth in the standings, and Bangalore remained at third.

More news from Cricket