The Nitish Rana-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a crucial 21-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore in match No. 36 of the IPL 2023.
Batting first, KKR finished proceedings at 200 in the allotted 20 overs, led by Jason Roy’s quickfire 56 and Nitish Rana’s 48. In reply, RCB skipper Virat Kohli led from the front hitting 54 (37b, 6×4) however, the other batting stars of the home side faltered as Varun Chakravarthy (3/27), Andre Russell (2/29), and Suyash Sharma (2/30) shone with the ball.
In the process, two-time IPL champions KKR arrested a four-game losing streak.
KKR’s spin bowling department came in for rich praise from JioCinema IPL expert Zaheer Khan who said: “First you plan a certain way and then you see the result on the pitch. KKR decided that against RCB, they’ll use their spinners more. The spinners went and executed. It’s not just the captain but you have to have bowlers of a high calibre. The one thing we’ve seen this evening is that KKR’s strength lies in their spin bowling. They leave an impact on a game with their bowling in favourable conditions.”
Eoin Morgan, the former England and KKR captain, also praised countryman Roy, saying: “He’s so imposing at the top of the order. Not only does he possess a huge amount of power, there’s a lot of class there as well from the England international. He’s such a big performer. In any changing room he goes into, he breathes confidence. What a tall-statured guy, well-built and imposing. Jason stamps his authority early in the game. I think that was a huge point of difference for them.”
Morgan was also impressed with Chakravarthy. “He’s an unbelievably grateful guy to be in the situation he’s in with the opportunity in the IPL. It’s a nice reminder of the sacrifices these players make during this period. He was very candid in the way he spoke, not his day in the last game but today, 3/27. Working on his accuracy more than the variations, he feels he has enough variations at the moment,” said Morgan.