Clinical bowling by Kuldeep Yadav (4/14) and Mustafizur Rahman (3/18) overshadowed a fine rearguard half-century by Nitish Rana (57 off 34) as Delhi Capitals restricted Kolkata Knight Riders to 146/9 in 20 overs in Match 41 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Kuldeep looked at his brilliant best against his old franchise and bowled like he had something to prove. He tossed up the ball, mixed the wrong 'un and sliders well and varied the pace. He sent back KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer (42), Baba Indrajith (6), Sunil Narine (0) and Andre Russell (0) to finish with 4/14. It was a pity that he did not get to bowl his fourth over or could have completed a fifer. But the two wickets off successive deliveries of Baba Indrajith and Narine broke KKR's back.
Mustafizur started well but claimed three wickets in the 20th over, sending back Nitish Rana, Tim Southee and Rinku Singh -- Rana and Southee off successive balls.
Sent in to bat, the Kolkata top and middle order never got going as they struggled with the clinical bowling by the Delhi Capitals. They managed a poor 29/2 in the power-play overs and reached fifty runs at the halfway stage.
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They reached 100 runs only in the 15th over and it was only due to Nitish Rana's heroics that they managed to reach a modest total.
Aaron Finch was the first to go, bowled by Chetan Sakaria with one that swung in a bit and the Aussie opener was totally beaten. Finch could have gone on the previous delivery but Rovman Powell dropped a regulation catch, running in from midwicket, sliding in to take the catch but the ball popped out of his hands. Finch was out for three and Kolkata had only four runs on the board.
Fellow opener Venkatesh Iyer (6 off 12) did not last long and was caught by Sakaria inside the circle as he attempted a sweep off Axar Patel but failed to connect properly. Sunil Narine went for a first-ball duck and Baba Indrajith did not last long and the Knight Riders were down to 35/4 in the eighth over.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer repaired the innings a bit with a 37-ball 42 and with Nitish Rana and raised 48 runs for the fifth wicket. Shreyas struck three fours during his stay, all to Axar Patel but the KKR batters could not break the stranglehold of Delhi Capitals bowlers -- especially Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel -- in the middle overs. Shreyas was given out by the video umpire after Kuldeep foxed him with a wrong 'un and Rishabh Pant pouched a low, shin-high, one-handed catch to end his innings.
Rana continued the onslaught in death overs as he hammered Lalit Yadav for 17 runs in the 17th over, including a six off a beamer wide of off-stump and another blasted another six off a wide half-volley over point.
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Rana and Rinku Singh shared a 63-run partnership off 35 balls for the seventh wicket that really propped up the KKR innings. They could have got a few more runs but Rinku was out off the second ball off the final over by Mustafizur Rahman and after Umesh Yadav had scampered for one leg-bye, Rana holed out to sweeper cover trying to force some quick runs. Mustafizur gave away only two runs in the 20th over and claimed three wickets, thus applying the brakes on KKR's free-scoring that had produced 43 overs in three overs from 17-19.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 146/9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 42, Nitish Rana 57; Kuldeep Yadav 4/14, Mustafizur Rahman 3/18) against Delhi Capitals.