Spinners let off steam while Knight Riders ride down Maxwell’s RCB
The weirdos went wild at Eden Gardens as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 81 runs in the Indian Premier League.
Varun Chakravarthy (4-15) and Sunil Narine (2-16) shared six wickets while debutant Suyash Sharma, 19, won 3-30 as the trio demolished the Bangalore chase on Thursday.
Shardul Thakur previously hit 68 balls from 29 to save Kolkata from a precarious 5-89 and helped his team to an impressive 7-204 aggregate.
In response, Bangalore was bowled for 123 in 17.4 overs, while Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was bowled for just five.
After being sent to bat, Kolkata sped up as Afghan Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit 57 of 44, including six fours and three sixes.
But the wickets fell at the other end as England’s David Willey went 2-16 in four overs, releasing Venkatesh Iyer (3) and Mandeep Singh (0) from back-to-back balls.
Skipper Nitish Rana hauled in for a run while West Indies explosive all-rounder Andre Russell was caught for a golden duck.
Thakur then joined Rinku Singh in the 12th over and the duo added 103 runs for the sixth wicket before the partnership ended in an over left.
It was the third-highest partnership for sixth wicket or lower in IPL history and changed the face of the game.
Thakur hit nine fours and three sixes in a brilliant counterattack, reaching 50 from just 20 balls.
Rinku Singh also scored 46 of 33, with two fours and three sixes.
In response, Virat Kohli (21) and Faf du Plessis (23) got off to a flying start in the pursuit, adding 44 balls from 29 balls.
But when Narine broke through Kohli’s defense and bowled Chakravarthy du Plessis, the downfall began.
Chakravarthy then bowled Maxwell and Harshal Patel (0) as Bangalore dropped to 4-54 in 7.4 overs.
Kolkata introduced debutant leg spinner Suyash as a striker, and he ran amok with wickets down the middle.
His winning scalp was Dinesh Karthik, caught for nine outs before Suyash collected a few more wickets with his expansive wrist spin.
Willey threw his racquet around for a run-a-ball 20 to reduce the margin of defeat.
The England left-hander got his chance after misfortune struck compatriot Reece Topley, who was ruled out of the IPL for the remainder of the season after dislocating his shoulder.
The 29-year-old suffered the injury while jumping in the field in his first appearance for RCB, the latest in a long string of fitness setbacks that have tarnished the left-hander’s career.
After fighting his way back to the top and reclaiming his place on England’s white ball team, he missed out on last year’s T20 World Cup triumph after tripping over a boundary sponge and injuring ankle ligaments.
Another setback in Bangladesh last month delayed his recent comeback in England but he got off to a strong start at RCB, clean Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, with his ninth performance in the competition.
That was as good as it got and he’s now flying home for another unwanted period of rehabilitation.
Aussies in IPL 2023
Capitals of Delhi: Mitch Marsh ($1.2 million), David Warner ($1.16 million)
Gujarat Titans: Matthew Wade ($446,000)
Lucknow Super Giants: Marcus Stoinis ($1.7 million), Daniel Sams ($135,000)
Mumbai Indians: Tim David ($1.53 million), Cameron Green ($3.15 million), Jason Behrendorff ($135,000)
Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis ($135,000), Matt Short ($36,000)
Rajasthan Royals: Adam Zampa ($270,000)
Royal challengers Bangalore: Josh Hazlewood ($1.4 million), Glenn Maxwell ($2 million)
The numbers represent the auction price in Australian dollars at the time of sale