Nitish Rana starts KKR’s IPL 2021 campaign with an outstanding 80 off 56 balls while opening the batting followed by a breezy 53 from Rahul Tripathy . Later the bowlers did just enough to restrict the Sunrisers and win the match for KKR by 10 runs .
Batting first after losing the toss , KKR started superbly through their opening pair of Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill as they shared a 53 run stand dominated by Rana , who was striking the ball in spectacular fashion hitting fluently through covers and pulling sumptuously through midwicket . Gill (15) was bowled by Rashid trying to sweep after looking good . However Rahul Tripathy joined Rana and was working the angles beautifully to play improvised shots on both sides of the pitch . Both batsmen were scoring fluently and cleverly using the shorter side of the ground to hit the big shots . They put on 93 runs for 2nd wicket and there was no movement on offer for SRH bowlers who struggled to swing the ball.
However from 146/1 around 15 overs , KKR slumped to 160 /5 with Rana (80) , Tripathy (53) , Morgan and Russell getting out in quick succession . However Dinesh Karthik played a quickfire cameo of 22 notout to take KKR to 187/6 in 20 overs . For SRH both Rashid and Nabi got 2 wickets each while the seamers were expensive .
Chasing 188 to win , SRH held back Bairstow at number 4 and opened with Warner and Saha . However Prasidh Krishna , high on confidence of his recent India debut produced a great delivery slanting accross Warner (3) at pace to induce the edge to Karthik . Soon Saha (7) was bowled by Shakib . This followed Sunrisers’ best partnership between Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow as they added 90 runs at rapid pace. Bairstow was high on confidence as he played dazzling shots all round the ground to raise visions of an SRH victory thus carrying forward his Indian series form. Scorching off drives , effortless pull shots and there was one stunning straight drive on the rise over Cummins’ head . Finally the much awaited breakthrough came for KKR when Cummins had Bairstow caught by Rana at point for 55 off 40 balls with 3 sixes. Nabi (14) and Vijay Shankar (11) played cameos as Manish Pandey was leading the charge but SRH was steadily falling behind since Bairstow’s loss . Samad did raise some hopes with two neatly struck sixes on the on side off Cummin’s final over . However with 22 runs needed off final over , Russell bowled superbly and allowed only 6 runs off first 5 balls before he conceded an inconsequential six off final ball as KKR were home by 10 runs .
For KKR , Prasidh got 2/35 and Cummins 1/30
Man of the match Nitish Rana deserves a lot of credit for playing such a brilliantly crafted knock of 80 off 56 balls as he came out of quarantine post a mild covid bout and therefore had lesser training time .
KKR 187/6 (20 Ovs)
Nitish Rana 80(56)
Rashid Khan 2/24
SRH 177/5 (20 Ovs)
Manish Pandey 61(44)