Sparkling half centuries from Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine and a 5 fer from Varun Chakravarthy helped Kolkata Knight Riders stay in the hunt for a play off spot as they beat Delhi Capitals by 59 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday.
Delhi made 2 changes in the XI by including Ajinkya Rahane and Anrich Nortje and dropping Prithvi Shaw and Daniel Sams, while Kolkata dropped Kuldeep Yadav and Tom Banton and included Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sunil Narine.
After being asked to bat by Delhi, Kolkata Knight Riders lost opener Shubman Gill early to Anrich Nortje for 9.
Rahul Tripathi became Nortje’s second victim as he was cleaned up by a brilliant yorker.
Dinesh Karthik’s miserable run with the bat continued, as he fell for 3 leaving KKR in a spot of bother at 42/3.
The pair of Rana and Narine turned the game in Knight Riders favour by adding 115 runs for the fourth wicket, before the latter was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Rabada for a breezy 64. His knock came off 32 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes.
Rana ensured that there was no loss in momentum after Narine’s departure, as his 53 ball-81 helped Kolkata post an imposing total of 194/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
For Delhi, Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Marcus Stoinis claimed 2 wickets each.
Chasing 195, Delhi Capitals lost Ajinkya Rahane and the in form Shikhar Dhawan to Australian pacer Pat Cummins in the power play.
However, skipper Shreyas Iyer joined hands with Rishabh Pant and put up a gritty 63 run stand for the third wicket, before the latter fell to Varun Chakravarthy for 27.
Chakravarthy wrecked the middle order by claiming wickets of Iyer, Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel, as DC were left reeling at 112/7.
Delhi could eventually only manage 135/9 as they slumped to a 59 run defeat.
The Tamil Nadu leg spinner was the pick of the Knight Riders bowlers with figures of 5/20, while Cummins ended up with 3 wickets.
Sunday’s double header will see Virat Kohli’s RCB locking horns against MS Dhoni’s CSK at Dubai with Rajasthan Royals taking on Mumbai Indians at Abu Dhabi later in the evening.