Kolkata Knight Riders self-destruct in opening match | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Kolkata Knight Riders self-destruct in opening match

When Kolkata Knight Riders players analyse their opening game's performance they will struggle to find valid reasons for the defeat. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Scorecard | In pics

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2011 02:31 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

When Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) players analyse their opening game's performance they will struggle to find valid reasons for the defeat.

Three catches dropped, three batsmen out stumped, two runouts; yet they needed just nine runs off seven balls with five wickets in hand. And they lost.

Shah Rukh Khan's team pressed the self-destruct button once again to start IPL 4 on the backfoot.

Coming after seasons of below-par performances, KKR fans will find it difficult to reconcile to the two-run defeat to defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the last over of the game at the Chidambaram Stadium.

Chasing CSK's total of 153 for four, the Gautam Gambhir-led KKR ended at 151 for seven.

The tight finish may give the impression of an exciting day's cricket but overall the opening game was a listless affair.

Missed chances
For a team with a lot to prove, KKR's intentions were questionable. A good start can lift spirits, get the momentum going and instil self belief. KKR's performance was all the more frustrating because they had the opportunity to do that.

Their fielding, the lifeline of any team seeking revival, was poor and prevented them from getting off to a good start.

CSK's chief run getters, Srikkanth Anirudha and Suresh Raina were dropped early, by Yusuf Pathan on both occasions.

Had KKR been alert and sharper, CSK could have been staring down the barrel at 31 for three. To recover from there on a slow Chidambaram Stadium track would have required a special effort from the lower order.

Raina and Anirudha rubbed it in by threading together a second-wicket partnership of 75 runs.

The latter couldn't believe his luck when England international Eoin Morgan also dropped him in the 11th over.

It was a dolly and as Morgan looked disbelievingly at his palms at midwicket, the butter-fingered KKR players had become the butt of jokes of the Chennai crowd.

And, when Sarabjit Ladda finally took the catch at midwicket to dismiss Raina, instead of applause a sarcastic round of laughter rang around the stands.

Anirudha shines
Anirudha, the local batsman did his job with the bat.

He rode his luck and was finally out in the last over of the innings for 64 (55 balls; 6 fours, 2 sixes).