In the end, it turned out to be a comfortable win for the hosts. Kolkata Knight Riders-led by Dinesh Karthik got off to a winning start against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. Momentum kept switching from one end to the other end but the home side never lost the plot.
Brendon McCullum started the game in a sparkling fashion, scoring 43 at a strike rate of 159.25. He hit two maximums and six fours to provide a solid foundation to the visitors.
Later in the game, the two experienced campaigners- AB de Villiers and skipper Kohli stitched vital runs together before Mandeep Singh offered the final blow.
Mandeep’s cameo takes RCB to 176:
Kohli made 31 while de Villiers hit a 23-ball 44. Mandeep’s 37 off 18 balls helped his side get to 176/6 in their quota of 20 overs.
Vinay Kumar took a lot of blows, going for 30 runs in his two overs. All-rounder Andre Russell was economical, conceding just 10 from his two overs.
There were no surprises in the opening slot for Kolkata. Sunil Narine scored the joint fourth fastest fifty in the history of the IPL.
Narine turned his all-around game strong in last year’s IPL and this year too, he started in a similar way.
Five sixes and four fours helped him announce himself. His 19-ball 50 helped KKR make full use of the power play.
Skipper Karthik once again proved to be a fitting finisher. He remained unbeaten on 35 and saw his side grab points in their season opener.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli rued certain lags. He said that they were 15 runs short and that didn’t help matters.
“We were 15 short with the bat, myself included. I played too many dot balls. Me and AB getting out in two balls to a part-timer was game-changing as well. We made a good game out of it. Quite a few positives. Difficult for the spinners to bowl on.” Kohli said post the game.
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