Varun Chakravarthy stars in KKR’s 9-wicket win against RCB

Varun Chakravarthy and KKR players celebrate a dismissal

Kolkata Knight Riders down Royal Challengers Bangalore by 9 wickets in the first match of the second leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League season.

Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first on a green wicket at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Batting first, RCB fans were disappointed in the powerplay overs with both openers Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal returning to the pavilion. The skipper could only muster 5 runs before Prasidh Krishna trapped him leg before wicket whilst Padikkal top-scored for RCB with 22 runs off 20 balls that included three beautiful boundaries.

In the ninth over, debutant Srikar Bharat and veteran AB de Villiers both were dismissed by Andre Russell with the latter getting out on a golden duck.

With RCB struggling at 52/4 after 9 overs, Glenn Maxwell and Sachin Baby tried to rebuild the innings but the Australian batsman couldn’t hold out for long as mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy joined the party by dismissing both Maxwell and debutant Wanindu Hasaranga off successive deliveries in the 12th over.

Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj tried to add runs on the scoreboard late in the innings but Kohli’s men were all out for a mere total of 92 in 19 overs.

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Chasing 93, Kolkata Knight Riders decided to send Shubman Gill to open the batting alongside debutant Venkatesh Iyer. The duo managed to put on 29 runs in the first four overs and then Kyle Jamieson was smacked all over the park for two boundaries and a maximum in the fifth over with KKR ending the powerplay at 56/0 after 6 overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal proved to be a bit expensive as well but the wrist-spinner was the only RCB bowler to take a wicket on the day as Gill was caught in the deep after playing a brilliant innings of 48 runs off 34 balls.

In the post-match presentation, Chakravarthy bagged the plaudits as he won the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his match-winning figures of 3/13 in four overs.

He said,

“I try to assess the pitch first. It was flat only. Would like to give credit to the bowlers who bowled in the powerplay for the discipline. There wasn’t much in the pitch. Wasn’t much spin on offer so I had to keep it on the stumps.”

When asked about the potential hattrick ball, Chakravarthy chuckled and accepted that his skipper made the right call to not waste the team’s review. The 30-year old spinner also talked about how getting called up for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup has raised his morale.

He continued,

“I thought it was out but just saw the replay that there was an inside edge. Definitely made me feel better, and got a sense of acceptance from the people around me. Started very late in my career. Now me getting picked for India gives me a sense of acceptance.”

Whilst RCB will play table-toppers Chennai Super Kings next on Friday, KKR will face the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians in their next assignment as the Eoin Morgan-led squad would be hoping to continue their resurgence in the second leg of the IPL 2021.