On the evening of Durgasthtami, KKR gave another reason for Bengalis to don a smile on their face as the Knight Riders thrashed table-toppers Delhi Capitals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi by a comprehensive margin of 59 runs to consolidate their chances of playoffs qualification.
After Nitish Rana and comeback man Sunil Narine powered KKR to 194 for six with their respective half-centuries, KKR made a rampaging start before Varun Chakravarthy castled down Delhi's formidable middle-order combination, finishing with his maiden five-wicket haul, as the Capitals were restricted to just 135 for the loss of nine wickets.
Pat Cummins got KKR off to a strong start as he dismissed Ajinkya Rahane, who replaced an out-of-form Prithvi Shaw, in the very first ball of the game, trapping him in front of off stump with a fuller and straight delivery. He returned for his second over and dismissed the man-in-form Shikhar Dhawan for just six runs. Cummins went around the wicket, targetted the top of off stump and knocked it down. Delhi Capitals were ricked inside three overs with just 13 onboard for two wickets.
Cummins' super spell was ably supported by Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna as Delhi managed to add just 23 more in the next 21 balls. The rest, the tougher bit, was down by Varun.
Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer cautiously went about the proceedings after the two early blows to add 63 runs for the third wicket before a reckless hoick from the wicket-keeper batsman begun the downfall. With the asking rate climbing, Shimron Hetmyer and Iyer looked to take full toll of the spinner, but both got caught at long-on. He came back for his third over to dismiss Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel as Barun recorded the best figures in IPL 2020 with his five for 12.
Rana revelled in his new opening role with a whirlwind 81, while Narine smashed a 32-ball 64 to propel Kolkata Knight Riders to a commanding 194/6 in their IPL match against Delhi Capitals here on Saturday.
Promoted to open, Rana smashed 13 fours and one six in his 53-ball 81, while Narine also came out all guns blazing, smacking four sixes and six fours as KKR put behind their horror show against Royal Challengers Bangalore to post a stiff total after being asked to bat.
The left-handed duo stitched together 115 runs from just 59 balls to seize the momentum.
Having crumbled for 84 in their last match against RCB, KKR once again were staring down the barrel at 42/3 after 7.
Just when KKR's tale of batting woes began to unfold, Rana came into do the rescue act, taking the attack to the experienced R Ashwin in an over that yielded 13 runs.
Rana first smacked Ashwin's tossed up delivery for a six and followed it up with a boundary.
In the next over, Narine joined in to continue KKR's run feast in the back-end of the innings in an incredible partnership.
DC brought back Nortje but there was no respite for them and Rana brought up his fifty with an outside edge.
He was then seen dedicating his half-century to his father-in-law, who died of cancer recently, by showing a jersey customised by KKR as a special tribute to him.
Narine then hammered Marcus Stoinis by hitting him for a six and a four making the formidable DC attack look mediocre.
For Delhi, Ashwin was the most expensive and looked ordinary, conceding 45 runs from his three overs, while Nortje (2/27), Rabada (2/33) and Stoinis (2/41) took two wickets each.
(with PTI inputs)