A high intensity bowling performance from their quick bowlers helped the Kolkata Knight Riders skittle out the Royal Challengers Bangalore for 49 – the lowest total in the IPL – at the Eden Gardens on Sunday night. After being put in to bat, KKR themselves were bundled out for 131 before they took the field all pumped up, and dismissed the visitors to win by a huge margin of 82 runs.
If RCB expected an easy run-chase, they were in for a rude shock. The pitch was probably a little spiced up as the night set in, and the KKR bowlers used the conditions beautifully. The hosts gave early signs of aggression when Gautam Gambhir positioned himself at forward short leg and kept a fielder at slip. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav charged in and reaped the rewards of bowling aggressively; they hit the deck hard, bowled at good pace and used change of lengths smartly, while Chris Woakes and Colin de Grandhomme picked up wickets by bowling regulation lines and lengths and getting the ball to move.
The action began in the very first over of the chase when Coulter-Nile drew Virat Kohli into a drive, found the outside edge of the bat which flew to second slip; the RCB skipper was dismissed for a first-ball duck. Mandeep Singh cut Umesh to Manish Pandey at point in the following over, while AB de Villiers top-edged a pull, which was pouched by Robin Uthappa behind the stumps. RCB 12-3.
Kedar Jadhav – whose 8 was the highest score of the innings – was next to go, miscuing a back of a length delivery to be caught at mid-on. In the seventh over, Chris Gayle, who had helplessly watched all the damage happening at the other end, attempted to free his arms, but only miscued a pull down the throat of the mid-off fielder. Three balls later, Sturt Binny – the last of RCB’s specialist batsmen – feathered an outswinger from Woakes to the wicketkeeper. RCB 40-6 after 6.5 overs, and the chase was all but done. The lower order stretched it to 49, before Yuzvendra Chahal was last man out, edging to second slip. RCB didn’t even bat out ten overs – they only lasted 9.4 overs, and were dismissed for the lowest total in the history of the IPL.
For KKR, the ten wickets were shared by the four pacers; it was the first time in the history of the IPL that all ten wickets in an innings were taken by pace bowlers. Coulter-Nile, Woakes and de Grandhomme picked up three wickets each, while Umesh chipped in with a wicket.
Earlier, KKR’s outing with the bat was of three distinct parts. When Sunil Narine was batting in the middle, it rained boundaries; he scored three consecutive fours and a six off Samuel Badree’s first over, and hit Sreenath Aravind for consecutive boundaries in the third over. The Trinidadian dominated the opening partnership with his captain; by the time Gambhir was dismissed, KKR had raced to 48 in 3.4 overs. Narine batted on until the sixth over and helped his team to 65 before he holed out to the man patrolling the deep square-leg boundary; he made 34 and hit six fours and a six in his 17-ball stay in the middle.
At 65-2, the wheels came off the KKR innings as the hosts lost their next four wickets for 18 runs. This was when the RCB spin trio – Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi and Samuel Badree – helped pull things back with a very disciplined spell of bowling. Chris Woakes and Suryakumar Yadav stitched together a 27-run partnership to take their team past the hundred-run mark. Once that partnership was broken – when Woakes holed out to deep midwicket, RCB made inroads yet again and bowled out the hosts for 131 in 19.3 overs.
Chahal was the most successful bowler for RCB; the leg-spinner returned figures of 4-0-16-3, while Negi bowled his three overs for returns of 2-15. Badree recovered from an expensive first over to finish with figures of 1-33. Tymal Mills picked up two wickets – one of Gambhir and the other of Woakes.
Man of the Match: Nathan Coulter-Nile
Kolkata Knight Riders : 131-9 (Sunil Narine 34, Yuzvendra Chahal 3-16)
Royal Challengers Bangalore : 49 in 9.4 overs (Colin de Grandhomme 3-4, Chris Woakes 3-6, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3-21)