IPL 2018: Captain Karthik leads KKR to a comprehensive victory against RCB 

After a quick-fire fifty from Opener Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik helped Knight Riders to start their campaign in style with a three-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore

Picture courtesy: Twitter
Picture courtesy: Twitter

Vikrant Jha

Kolkata Knight Riders may have been written off by pundits of the game after the auctions, but they have started their title defence with an easy victory over the start-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Sunil Narine—the Opener—started the KKR chase with a superb half-century (50 off 19; four fours and five sixes) and Captain Karthik gave the finishing touch remaining not out till the end and contributing 35 runs off just 29 balls. Nitish Rana too contributed to the KKR win, both with the ball and the bat.

After knocking Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers of consecutive deliveries, Nitish Rana made a match-deciding contribution of 34 runs off just 25 balls with the bat. For RCB, Chris Woakes picked up three wickets conceding 36 runs of his four overs while Umesh Yadav picked up two off his four, giving away just 27 runs.

Earlier, a sublime inning of 44 runs off just 23 deliveries by AB de Villiers, who showed glimpses of his 360-degree ability, helped Challengers post a sub-par yet respectable total of 176-7 in the allotted 20 overs. At one point, however, RCB looked to pose a total in excess of 200 but were rocked by Rana’s double strike where he picked up two of the current best batsmen in the world—AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli—off the second and the third ball off his only over. But a Mandeep Singh cameo in the end, where he scored a quick-fire 37 off just 18 balls, ensured RCB had something to defend on the scoreboard. Captain Kohli contributed 31 off 33 balls and his innings included a four and a six each.

In the first match played on Saturday this eveningKL Rahul powered Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable victory over Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils as KL Rahul, co-incidentally with seven balls to spare. Rahul scored the fastest T-20 fifty (off just 15 balls) in the history of the IPL.

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Published: 09 Apr 2018, 12:18 AM