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IPL 9, Match 45: KKR v RPS – 5 talking points

George Bailey
George Bailey (Photo Source: BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders jumped to the second position in the points table after they cruised to an easy 8 wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants. It was an easy day in the field for the KKR side who displayed a wonderful performance overall in a rain-affected game which was reduced to just 9 overs a side game after the first innings. RPS side batted first and could manage just 103/6 in 17.4 overs before rains began to pour. Later, chasing the revised target of 66, the KKR side faced early setback but were eventually coasted home by Yusuf Pathan’s blitz.

1. Lethargic batting performance:

The start wasn’t great fro RP after they chose to bat after winning the toss. Ajinkya Rahane registered his second single digit score after he was cleaned up by Andre Russell in the 3rd over. An over, Usman Khawaja, who looked in good form, also followed him back to the dugout George Bailey (33 from 27 balls) and Saurabh Tiwary then stitched a small 39 runs stand to stabilise the RPS innings before both departed in quick succession at the half-way stage of the innings Dhoni with just 8 runs off 22 balls speaks up the sluggish batting performance by RPS.

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2. Rain interferes:

Eventually, the RPS innings was suspended in the 18th over when the rains began to pour heavily. It delayed the match by more than an hour and at one stage threatened to force the match to be abandoned. But the rains stopped at the right time and enabled the umpires to continued the game. Naturally, the loss of the time had to be compensated with the number of overs to be bowled in the innings. Therefore, the second innings was reduced to just 9 overs and the target for KKR was revised to just 66 runs on the basis of D/L method.

3. Brainy Gambhir shows his tactical skills:

Gautam Gambhir is a thinking cricketer. His aggression and straightforwardness might be an issue but his leadership has been widely appreciated. In today’s game as well, we saw him leading his troops with superior control and well-planed strategy in his mind. There were a couple moves which were really impressive. One was the spin-pace strategy of bowling seamers Morne Morkel and Ankit Rajpoot alongside Shakib al Hasan. Later, understanding the slow nature of the wicket ad realising that the RPS batting order was bending its knees, he quickly employed his main spinners – Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla. He made both of them bowl in tandem unchanged before the rain interrupted the game. Both were highly effective and choked the opposition completely to returned with figures of 0/10 & 2/21 respectively.

4. Ravichandran Ashwin spices up the dull game:

The second innings got off to an interesting start. MS Dhoni, who had earlier predicted a slower track, began with his trump card, Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin found prodigious turn right from the ball one. He snapped two wickets in the first over itself including a very close LBW call. The wicket already looked tough to bat on in the first innings and the showers had assumably made the track slower i nature. The ball was getting a good grip and it seemed that the match could switch to RPS’ favor considering they fielded two more spinners – Murugan Ashwin and Adam Zampa.

5. Yusuf Pathan takes away the game: 

RPS had gained an immediate upper hand over the game after the wonderful first over by Ashwin. However, Yusuf Pathan (37 from 18 balls) then unleashed his brute force to seal the match within no time. After initially struggling to cope with the turn, Pathan switched to a no-nonsense aggressive approach and quickly turned the table in favour of KKR. He partnered along with Manish Pandey for an unbeaten 58 run stand to eventually finished the game in just 5 overs.

Also, read – Twitter Reactions: Yusuf shines again as KKR route RPS in rain-marred game

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