SRH v KKR: Time for Rana to open

IPL 2021, Match 3 SRH vs KKR: Rana, Tripathi star with the bat in KKR’s win over SRH


SRH vs KKR: Indian batsmen Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi were the star performers in Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 3 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Sunday (April 11).

Both Rana and Tripathi made stellar half-centuries. While Rana finished with a 56-ball 80 on being promoted to open the innings, Tripathi made a decent feast of middle-order duties via a 53 off 29 deliveries.

Rana hit nine fours and four maximums through his knock, whereas Tripathi scaled the boundary seven times, including five fours and two sixes.

The duo helped KKR post a huge total of 187/6 in their allotted 20 overs on what was another decent track at Chepauk and played instrumental roles in their team’s 10-run victory at the start of the IPL 2021 campaign.

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SRH vs KKR: Rana, Tripathi star with the bat in KKR’s win over SRH

Apart from Rana and Tripathi, ex KKR skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik, also contributed nicely with the bat as he blazed his willow for a crucial cameo of 22 runs off just 9 deliveries.

Wrist-spinner Rashid Khan (2/24) was once again the stand-out performer with the ball for SRH. But the rest of the attack struggled to put to a leash on run-scoring once Rana and Tripathi got going from both ends. Only Rashid’s fellow Afghanistan spinner, Mohammad Nabi (2/32), was a touch miserly.

Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/45) started well but ended the day with really poor figures after failing to stop the rampaging KKR batsmen in the death overs. Sandeep Sharma (0/35), T Natarajan (1/37) and Vijay Shankar (0/14) proved very expensive as well.

In the run-chase, SRH lost both their openers David Warner (3) and Wriddhiman Saha (7) cheaply and were left to try and resurrect the innings with the asking rate well above 9 RPO. However, Jonny Bairstow (55) and Manish Pandey (61*) did manage to bring their team back in the game with a stand of 82 runs for the third wicket.

KKR, though, retained the upper hand once they dismissed Bairstow soon after the completion of his measured half-century, as SRH lost their way again with other middle-order batters Nabi (14) and Shankar (11) failing to put the ball off the square consistently.

Power-hitter Abdul Samad (19*) did smash a few lusty blows towards the end but SRH still finished with just 177/5 in their quest to chase down the 188-run target. The 2016 champions would’ve rued some of their tactics, including not sending Samad in a lot earlier in the innings.

Among KKR bowlers, Andre Russell (1/32) bowled very well at the end under pressure after an economical spell from Pat Cummins (1/30) and timely breakthroughs via Prasidh Krishna (2/35) and Shakib Al Hasan (1/34) helped set up the overall defense.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 187/6 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 80, Rahul Tripathi 53; Rashid Khan 2/24) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 177/5 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 61*, Jonny Bairstow 55; Prasidh Krishna 2/35) by 10 runs.

A cricket writer by heart and profession. Currently at work for CricXtasy. Previously with Circle of Cricket. You can find him on Twitter @crickashish217