IPL 2021: Match 31, KKR vs RCB – Who Said What

IPL 2021: Match 31, KKR vs RCB – Who Said What

KKR won the encounter by 9 wickets, with 10 overs to spare.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders made a thumping start to the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League, as they handed a 9-wicket defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in one of the most one-sided affairs cricket would ever produce.

Barring the toss, there was not another thing that went RCB’s way; they were skittled out for 92 after opting to bat, their sixth-lowest score in IPL history, before KKR’s new-look opening pair of Shubman Gill and debutant Venkatesh Iyer bossed the chase.

The Challengers never found even a hint of momentum in their innings, with their famed trio of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers scoring 15 off 22 combined. Kohli was rapped on the pads for 5 by Prasidh Krishna, while a nasty yorker from Andre Russell undid de Villiers for a duck. Maxwell, who got 10 off 17, was cleaned up by Varun Chakravarthy, RCB’s nemesis on the day, as he ended with 3/13 in his quota.

Trouble was caused in plenty by Andre Russell, too, who returned with exceptional figures of 3/9, inflicting a collapse that saw RCB go down from 51/3 to 92/10 eventually. During the chase, Gill and Iyer killed it by adding 82 runs for the opening wicket before Yuzvendra Chahal got a consolatory scalp of the former, who got 48 from 34. Iyer stayed unbeaten on 41 from 27, sealing the chase with a whopping 10 overs to spare.

Losing skipper Virat Kohli: 

Was important to get a good partnership. We didn’t expect that much dew to kick in that early. From 42 for 1, we lost 5 wickets for 20-odd. Bit of a wake-up call, might as well have this at the start of the second leg so that we know what we should work on. You can make the argument that we were rusty but as professionals you’re expected to turn up and adjust. Sometimes it can take you a game, I hope not two, to get into the tournament, you have to stay with the eight-ball, if you’re not, the other teams will be all over you. Pretty good from Varun, he’s going to be a key factor when he plays for India. It’s great guys who’ve got the opportunity to play at the international level. He’s [Varun Chakravarthy] someone who is going to play in the near future for India, it’s a great sign. We have five wins from eight, we expect a loss here and there, it’s part and parcel, need to be professional, stick to our strengths and execute our plans. We have absolute confidence in our squad to pull up next game onwards and put in strong performances.”

Shubman Gill:

We wanted to make a comeback from where we were, it was a bold statement. Hopefully we will continue and qualify. It was a good opportunity to get our run rate going, that was the plan and happy to execute it. 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, was gutted by the way I got out but hopefully I’ll complete it in the next game. The way we started off, after the first six overs, the way we bowled, was great to see Sunny and Varun come into the mix. I think in the first innings, it was a bit slow, in the second innings, the ball was coming on pretty nicely.”

Winning captain Eoin Morgan:

Very rarely do you perform as well as we have today. The talent we have within our squad, it counts for nothing, you have to still go out and show how strong you are and we did today. I didn’t think the wicket changed a great deal, RCB started well, but taking a wicket at the backend of the PP changed things for us. Collectively, we took valuable wickets. Maxwell, AB, Virat – we managed to get on top of all of them, it’s very rare as well. As a group, with the expressive nature with which the guys play, playing under me or Baz, should be an absolute treat. We’re not going to knock people for playing their shots. We have a long way to go, need a lot of things to go right. Today’s the right start, need that run of confidence. We haven’t turned up for the majority of the tournament, but today was a great start.

Player of the Match Varun Chakravarthy: 

 When I have the ball in my hand, I try to assess the pitch,” he says. “It was flat, credit to the bowlers for bowling well in the PP. I like to set it up for the bowlers who come on after me. There wasn’t much spin on offer, so I had to keep my line on the stumps only. Playing for India has made me feel better, I have a sense of acceptance from people around me, because I started at 26.