ANI Photo | We showed great fight, says KKR skipper Nitish Rana after victory against RCB

Kolkata Knight Riders defied the odds in the first innings with a memorable 103-run partnership between Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh on Thursday at Eden Gardens in the Indian Premier League 2023 (IPL).
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 have barely ended up with a defendable score.
“We were seven down but still we fought. Today we showed great fight. Gurbaz played a brilliant knock at the top of the order and Thakur changed the complexion of the game. Credit should also be given to Rinku as he played second fiddle to Thakur and paced his innings well. Umesh and Southee started decently with the ball. Then, our spinners bowled really well. Taking wickets regularly was great for us. Suyash is a confident young man and he has belief in himself. He made his chance count and it was great to see him bowl that way,” KKR skipper Nitish Rana said after 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 back RCB 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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