The KKR bowlers made optimum use of the slow Sharjah track to restrict Delhi Capitals to 127 for nine.
KKR’s Nitish Rana sweeps one during his unbeaten 36 against Delhi Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday. Pic/BCCI; IPL
Nitish Rana kept his cool in a tricky chase as Kolkata Knight Riders kept their play-off hopes alive with a three-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in a low-scoring IPL contest here on Tuesday. The KKR bowlers made optimum use of the slow Sharjah track to restrict Delhi Capitals to 127 for nine.
T20 specialist Rana (36 not out) and seasoned Sunil Narine (21 off 10 balls) went after the inexperienced Lalit Yadav in the 14th over and also attacked seasoned Kagiso Rabada in the 16th over to tilt the game in KKR’s favour. The loss would be a nice wake-up call for DC, who remain second in the table with 16 points even as KKR consolidated their fourth spot with 10 points.
On a relaid Sharjah track where run-scoring was difficult, DC did well enough till the 13th over when KKR were struggling at 76 for 4. However, Rishabh Pant had by then finished Ravichandran Ashwin’s (1-24 in 4 overs) quota and had to rely on Yadav’s fast off-breaks. Rana used the long handle for two huge sixes as 20 came off that over.
In the 16th over, it was Narine, who launched into Rabada and got 21 runs to put KKR in the driver’s seat and despite some late jitters, Rana with a slashed boundary off Anrich Nortje finished it off in style. “We were 10 runs short, not much,” said a disappointed DC captain Pant.
“Batting was difficult especially for the new batters because the wicket was getting slower and slower. We tried to dig in as long as possible so that we could capitalise in the end, but we lost wickets later and fell 10 short,” he added.
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