KKR defended a total of 187 against David Warner’s SRH in Chennai on Sunday.

KKR teammates celebrate the fall of a wicket in the match against SRH. Twitter/Indian Premier League
news IPL 2021 Monday, April 12, 2021 - 08:27
Written by  PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan on Sunday said that his side couldn't have asked for a better start in their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign as they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 10 runs in Chennai on Sunday. KKR openers Nitish Rana (80) and Rahul Tripathi (53) powered the side to a competitive total of 187, batting first.

"We are delighted. I thought it was magnificent, the guys batted today at the top of the order in particular, Nitish and Tripathi. And the bowling too, couldn't have asked for a better start," KKR Captain Eoin Morgan said at the post-match presentation. "It was a tight game against a really tough side. Really happy with the start. We were very happy with our score, we thought if we bowled half decently well we should get over the line," he said, adding that the build up to the tournament has been pretty good and the players have gelled really well.

"There's a huge amount of thought and structure that goes into decisions on the field. We've got a great head coach and support staff. The IPL is all about results. I think guys buying in to what we are trying to do."

SRH's Rashid Khan (2/24) was yet again at his best, asking tough questions to the KKR batsmen but most of his bowling colleagues proved ineffective on a slow yet decent batting wicket. SRJ lost skipper David Warner (3) and Wriddhiman Saha (7) early and were always playing a catch-up game despite Jonny Bairstow's fighting half-century. They could manage only 177 for five in the end. Jonny Bairstow (55) and Manish Pandey (61 not out) formed a partnership at a steady run rate. Australian pacer Cummins broke their 92-run stand when he had Bairstow caught at backward point by Rana. SRH needed 70 off the last five overs. The 19-year-old Abdul Samad, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, creamed off two sixes and a four off Cummins in the penultimate over to keep SRH in hunt. Requiring 22 runs from the last over, KKR's Andre Russell held his nerves to deny SRH a win.

In the Post-match presentation, Morgan said that Harbhajan Singh’s experience helped in opening the team’s bowling and also in guiding the team’s bowlers.

SRH captain David Warner conceded that his side mis-executed a little bit with the ball. "I didn't think there were that many runs in that wicket. They adapted really well," Warner said. "And the way that we lost two early wickets but fought hard through Jonny and Manish, was good. If you over-pitched, it came on a little bit. They had some height in their bowling attack, it helped with the cross-seam balls," he added. The Australian also said there would be good momentum going into the tournament with the batting. "But plenty of games to come. Four games at this venue so we should be getting used to this square."

Man of the match Rana said he backed himself and was looking to hit the balls if it was in his slot. "I thought the ball was in my slot (first ball off Bhuvneshwar) and luckily I got a four," said Rana who scored 80 0ff 56 balls. "My game-plan is always that if the ball is in my slot I'll try to hit it. I was backing myself and looking to hit balls. I've been playing spin since childhood, so in a way, it's in my blood."

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