IPL 2015 opener: Of dropped catches, broken bats and Sunil Narine's comeback
It's decided then. Batsman Rohit Sharma owns Eden Gardens but 'home boy' Gautam Gambhir will continue to have his way at Kolkata's Eden Gardens during the Indian Premier League. Not often does a tale of two captains have dropped catches as the common link. Making full use of the extra lives, both capitalised on every opportunity that came their way. Apart from that one reprieve, both were decisive with their shot selection and deserved to win.india Updated: May 08, 2015 08:01 IST
It's decided then. Batsman Rohit Sharma owns Eden Gardens but 'home boy' Gautam Gambhir will continue to have his way at Kolkata's Eden Gardens during the Indian Premier League. Not often does a tale of two captains have dropped catches as the common link. Making full use of the extra lives, both capitalised on every opportunity that came their way. Apart from that one reprieve, both were decisive with their shot selection and deserved to win.Sharma was easy on the eyes and yet destructive, missing out on a century in over a 100-run stand. His was a ride that every one enjoyed while it lasted, right from the six off Shakib Al Hasan in the fifth over to the flat four towards deep point in the 20th. Gambhir on the other hand, often came down hard, so hard that once his blade just broke apart. He triumphed because his knock gave KKR a huge impetus at the start. It couldn't have been possible had Aditya Tare held on to his edge, off Vinay Kumar in the second over. He didn't go the whole nine yards like Sharma, but that 57 was as important a knock as his.
Another reason behind Gambhir's success was the better hand played by his Indian colleagues. What he couldn't finish was done with aplomb by Suryakumar Yadav and Yusuf Pathan after last final's hero Manish Pandey showed he hadn't lost touch of his T20 skills in the year gone by.
Sharma wasn't that lucky with his top order. The only way to mount pressure on Sharma was to get his partners out. His patience finally paid off when two drops in two overs red-flagged KKR's efforts towards keeping Mumbai Indians down to a paltry score.
Before that, KKR's going was quite smooth. Morne Morkel took this IPL's first wicket, dismissing Aaron Finch with a steeping delivery, before inducing Ambati Rayudu to just poke him towards Yusuf Pathan's bucket-like hands at first slip. That was enough cue for Gambhir to make Morkel bowl out his quota. Morkel conceded 18 runs, Aditya Tare fell to impatience and KKR were in complete control.
The first time KKR looked threatened was in the 14th over. Sunil Narine kept it tight by conceding four runs in the previous one but once Umesh Yadav was creamed for 21 runs, KKR's intensity seemed to drop, especially in the catching department.
First Andre Russell gave Corey Anderson a life, dropping a straight catch, off Shakib at deep midwicket. Next over Sharma came down the track to swing wildly across Narine's delivery but the edge didn't stick to Robin Uthappa's gloves. That was ominous for KKR.
The moment Narine, who till then had conceded 15 runs in three overs, strayed to the leg side, Sharma swept him for a four. Then came a six several rows behind the deep-square leg boundary. Those two shots were enough to mess with Narine's comeback - with a remodelled bowling action. The floodgates had opened. Narine finished wicket-less and with an economy of seven, knowing full well it could have been different.
Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians