ANI Photo | I don’t even know where it came from: Shardul Thakur on his knock against RCB

After claiming the Player of the Match award for his game-changing inning, Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Shardul Thakur admitted that he himself didn’t know from where the swashbuckling knock came.
A superb performance by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinners, led by Varun Chakravarthy and debutant Suyash Sharma helped the home side clinch an 81-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Thursday.
Shardul’s quick-fire knock of 63(26) took KKR’s total to 204/7. If it wasn’t for the fighting spirit that KKR players exhibited in the first innings, they would not have ended up with a defendable score.
“I don’t even know where it came from but looking at the scorecard at that time, everyone would have thought we are struggling. But your subconscious mind takes over. You also have to have skills to do that at a higher level, but we also work hard in the nets. There is a period where we can slog it in the nets. The coaching staff do the throwdowns and give us the option of range-hitting. And you know the pitches – they always suit the batsmen, don’t they? Suyash bowled exceptionally well, and we know the quality Sunil and Varun have. They have fun, and take wickets. This was a perfect day,” Shardul Thakur said in a post-match presentation.
Coming to the match, Royal Challengers Bangalore had a decent start to the chase as Virat Kohli and Faf Du Plessis quickly settled in to lay the groundwork for the enormous chase that lay ahead of them. The duo smacked Tim Southee for 23 runs in the fourth over, including two fours and two sixes.

Just when RCB looked to pick up the pace even further, Sunil Narine started his 150th IPL game in style, hitting Virat’s off stump to remove him for 21 off 18 balls. RCB was 44/1 in 4.5 overs.
This wicket started the visitors’ downfall. Varun Chakravarty also joined Narine in the spin party, dismissing Faf for 23 off 12 balls. RCB was 46/2 in 5.2 overs.
Chakravarty destroyed RCB’s middle order, sending back Harshal Patel, promoted up the order for a duck and Glenn Maxwell for five off seven balls. Narine sent RCB into a state of alarm by cleaning up Shahbaz Ahmed for just one. Half of the RCB line-up was in the hut for 61/5.
Michael Bracewell and Dinesh Karthik tried to bring RCB back into the match by stabilising the innings, but Shardul Thakur added to his batting heroics by dismissing the Kiwi all-rounder for 19 off 18 balls. RCB was reduced to 83/6.
Spinner Suyash Sharma, making his IPL debut made an impact in his second over, dismissing impact player Anuj Rawat, who replaced Mohammed Siraj for one and Dinesh Karthik for nine, sinking RCB to 86/8 in 12.5 overs.
Karn Sharma (1) became Suyash’s third wicket. RCB was 96/9 in 14.3 overs. Varun’s last wicket was Akash Deep, who was dismissed for 17. RCB was bundled out for 123 in 17.4 overs and lost by 81 runs.
After registering their first victory in the IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against the defending champions Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. (ANI)

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