- On Sunday, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, and Rahul Tripathi helped KKR beat SRH in a thrilling match.
- KKR won their 100th IPL match by defeating SRH by 10 runs at the Chepauk Stadium.
- Nitish Rana was named Man of the Match for his stroke filled 80-run knock.
The two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign in the 14th edition of the cash-rich league on Sunday. Kolkata Knight Riders were looking for a fresh start in Eoin Morgan’s first full season as full-time captain after losing out on a spot in the last four of domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza in the 2020 season. They faced David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
After losing out a place in the last four of domestic cricket’s biggest event in the 2020 season, Kolkata Knight Riders were seeking a fresh start in Eoin Morgan’s debut stint as full-time captain when they face against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Warner invited KKR to bat first in match No. 3 of the ongoing IPL 2021 after winning the toss at Chennai’s famous MA Chidambaram Stadium. Though Warner’s SRH omitted Kane Williamson from their season opener, Sunil Narine of the West Indies was left out of the KKR starting XI for their match against the Hyderabad-based franchise. In the high-scoring thriller between SRH and KKR at the Chepauk, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh made his IPL comeback after 699 days.
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Nitish Rana laid the foundation for a match-winning total against the 2016 champions at the Chepauk, who was eager to deliver after recovering from COVID-19 before the start of the new season. Rana notched his first half-century in KKR’s opening match, tormenting the SRH franchise’s potent bowling battery with his elegant batsmanship. As Morgan and Co. posted a daunting number, Rana top-scored for the KKR franchise with 56-ball 80.
In addition to Rana’s batting abilities, KKR’s youngster Rahul Tripathi hit a brilliant half-century (53) to help the team set a competitive number. Though Tripathi and Rana laid the groundwork, former captain Dinesh Karthik made a brief appearance in the death overs to set up a difficult total. With a strike rate of 244.44, the senior batsman remained unbeaten on 22 in nine deliveries. KKR scored 187-7 in 20 overs thanks to DK’s batting onslaught.
Prasidh Krishna took Warner’s jackpot wicket to get KKR off to a flying start. Mohammad Nabi was also dismissed by the pacer, giving him a hat trick. SRH bounced back from losing skipper Warner for cheap, thanks to match-changing knocks from Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey. Pandey scored a tenacious half-century to hold SRH in contention, while the Englishman continued his sublime run in India with an outstanding 55.
Pandey’s lone warrior performance (61 off 44 balls) was in vain, as Andre Russell leaked 11 runs in the final over to give KKR a winning start in the IPL 2021. “We are overjoyed. I thought the guys batted brilliantly today, particularly Nitish and Tripathi at the top of the order. And the bowling, too, has gotten off to a great start “Morgan said following the match.