IPL 2018: Nitish Rana, Andre Russell star as Kolkata Knight Riders crush Delhi Daredevils

Nitish Rana’s fifty combined with a blistering 41-run knock from Andre Russell helped Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs in an IPL 2018 clash at the Eden Gardens on Monday.

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2018 09:52 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2018,Indian Premier League 2018,Delhi Daredevils
Andre Russell’s 12-ball 41 helped Kolkata Knight Riders crush Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs in an IPL 2018 clash at the Eden Gardens on Monday. (BCCI)

This was supposed to be an evening when Gautam Gambhir came ‘home’ but if Eden Gardens went ra-ra, it wasn’t because of the short visit of the man responsible for Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) spectacular turnaround in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but due to what Nitish Rana and Andre Russell did. And when Shivam Mavi surprised Gambhir with the bounce, there couldn’t have been a better encapsulation of the old order yielding to the new. (KKR vs DD HIGHLIGHTS)

Rana produced an innings that had Eden chanting his name for the second time in three games. He showed a superb sense of where the field was and was strong square of the wicket. His innings was the glue that held together the KKR essay, taking them to 200/9 after a first-over maiden by Trent Boult and the innings’ last yielding only one with Rahul Tewatia bagging three wickets. He made 59 off 35 balls with five boundaries and four sixes. And he took a sharp catch as KKR romped off to a 71-run win with Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav taking three wickets each. Narine now has 102 scalps in the IPL. (KKR vs DD SCORES)

Rana’s effort on Monday was a perfect blend of poise and panache. His second scoring shot was a six getting under a Tewatia delivery and Rana took to Shahbaz Nadeem in the 10th over. Boult saved a certain four but then Glenn Maxwell could only watch and fall like an autumn leaf as Rana hoiked one. Next ball, he swept for a four.

READ: Virat Kohli is Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket - Dwayne Bravo

Even as wickets fell, Rana ensured that the impetus wasn’t lost. Proof of that came when he slotted a six over wide mid-on after Dinesh Karthik was snared. Chris Lynn and Karthik complemented Rana’s effort before Andre Russell showed what power play is all about with a 12-ball 41. One of his six sixes travelled 102m, another was flat-batted like a tennis forehand and a third flew over third man. Mohammed Shami, who had bowled two overs for 11 runs and dismissed Lynn, ended up leaking 53.

Shami conceded 22 in the 15th over and 20 in the 17th but not before Russell got a ‘life’ when Jason Roy failed to time his run in. With Russell hitting all his sixes off him, this certainly didn’t feel like a homecoming for Shami.

Rana and Russell were involved in a 22-ball 61-run partnership after a 55-run second-wicket stand between Lynn and Robin Uthappa provided the platform. Barring pyrotechnics from Glenn Maxwell and Rishab Pant, all the daredevilry came from the men in purple.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 19:52 IST