MATCH CENTRE: Scorecard, Commentary
No one would understand the frustration of being forced to be a part of rainaffected games more than defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders. Of the four rain-hit matches in the IPL this season, they have featured in three.
While the match against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens had to be abandoned and points split, the other two have been nothing short of a lottery for KKR.
In a format as batsman-friendly as this, it becomes all the more difficult for bowlers when matches are reduced to 10 or 12 overs per innings. There is no powerplay and fielding sides often don’t get timeouts in the face of continuous onslaught from opposition batsmen.
Having lost while chasing and bowling second, KKR by now have learnt a lesson or two about approaching such games.
With Nor’westers still lashing Kolkata, as it did on Saturday, it is something that will weigh heavily on skipper Gautam Gambhir’s mind.
Coincidentally, the opponents on Monday are Sunrisers Hyderabad, against whom they had lost their first rain-truncated match. Asked to chase down 118 in 12 overs after Sunrisers had posted 176 in 20 overs, KKR didn’t take the ‘horses for courses’ route, sticking to their normal batting order.
SWITCHING TACTICSAt that time, they kept faith in their Indian middle order notwithstanding the situation. But KKR changed that policy against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday by promoting Andre Russell, who had won them the CSK match almost single-handedly, and Ryan ten Doeschate.
KKR scored 111 for four in 10 overs but against Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and company, there was always a chance they might not defend it.
KKR’s chances were also hurt by the four wides bowled by their pacers. Four extra runs and as many extra deliveries can change any game, leave alone a shortened T20 match.