Kolkata Knight Riders made a stunning start to the second leg of IPL 2021 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, their bowling display put the opposition batsmen in all sorts of problems. The likes of Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, and Devdutt Padikkal failed to leave a dent as Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy proved to be too hot to handle. The RCB innings got bundled out for a lowly 92.
KKR’s opening batsmen Shubman Gill and debutant Venkatesh Iyer had a simple job at their hands. However, the batting unit of the team had faltered several times in the first leg. All of those doubts were dispensed with as Gill and Iyer took on the RCB bowlers with ease and secured a comfortable nine-wicket win. The margin of victory propelled KKR from the seventh position in the league table to fifth and they will be fighting to make it to the playoffs this season.
“We wanted to make a comeback from where we were; it was a bold statement. Hopefully, we will continue and qualify for the playoffs. It was a good opportunity to get our run rate going; that was the plan, and happy to execute it,” said Shubman Gill after KKR’s win over RCB.
Shubman opened the batting with 26-year-old Venkatesh Iyer who made his IPL debut against RCB. Iyer remained not out on 41 off just 27 deliveries and he dealt with the spinners especially well. Along with Iyer, Gill stitched a partnership of 82 runs off just 55 deliveries which made sure that there were no errors during the run-chase.
Talking about the debutant, Gill said, “Venkatesh Iyer was batting well in the practice matches as well. To bat and have such a great performance on debut is pleasing. My return felt good, except the way I got out, but hopefully, I’ll complete my fifty in the next game.”
KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy had a fantastic outing with the ball. He picked up three wickets and finished with a spell of 3/13 in his four overs. Chakravarthy’s spell along with Narine bowling from the other end helped KKR keep things tight after the powerplay.
“After the powerplay, it was good to see Varun and Sunny coming into the mix with the ball. It was a bit slow when we bowled and much better in the second innings, with the ball coming on pretty nicely,” Shubman Gill further added.