Royal Challengers Bangalore’s captain Faf Du Plessis is bowled out during the match in Kolkata, India, on Thursday. AP
Spinners ran riot at Eden Gardens as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 81 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday night.
Mystery spinners Varun Chakravarthy (4-15) and Sunil Narine (2-16) shared six wickets, while 19-year-old debutant Suyash Sharma took 3-30 as the trio destroyed Bangalore’s chase.
Shardul Thakur earlier smacked 68 runs off 29 balls to rescue Kolkata from a precarious 89-5 and helped his team reach a respectable total of 204-7. In reply, Bangalore was bowled out for 123 in 17.4 overs.
Put into bat, Kolkata sped off as Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit 57 off 44, including six fours and three sixes.
Varun Chakravarthy (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Faf du Plessis. AFP
Wickets tumbled at the other end, though. England’s David Willey picked up 2-16 in four overs, dismissing Venkatesh Iyer (3) and Mandeep Singh (0) off successive balls.
Skipper Nitish Rana holed out for one run, while West Indies’ explosive all-rounder Andre Russell was caught for a golden duck.
Thakur then came together with Rinku Singh in the 12th over and the duo added 103 runs for the sixth wicket before the partnership ended with one over left.
It was the third-highest partnership for the sixth-or-below wicket in IPL history, and changed the complexion of the game. Thakur hit nine fours and three sixes in a brilliant counterattacking knock. He reached 50 off only 20 balls. Rinku Singh scored 46 off 33, with two fours and three sixes.
In reply, Virat Kohli (21) and Faf du Plessis (23) made a flying start to the chase, adding 44 off 29 balls. But Narine broke through Kohli’s defense and Chakravarthy bowled du Plessis as the downfall began.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan acknowledges the crowd after his team won the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. AP
Chakravarthy bowled Glenn Maxwell (5) and Harshal Patel (0) as Bangalore was down to 54-4 in 7.4 overs. Kolkata introduced its debutant leg spinner Sharma as the impact player, and he ran amok with wickets in the middle. His prize wicket was Dinesh Karthik, out caught for nine runs, to make it 86-8 in 12.5 overs. Sharma picked up another couple of wickets with his expansive wrist spin.
Willey threw his bat around for a run-a-ball 20 not out to reduce the margin of defeat.
Kolkata bounced back from a seven-run defeat to Punjab Kings and is third in the standings. Bangalore is seventh after a win and a loss.
Dinesh Karthik appeals for the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders’ Nitish Rana. AP
Kolkata’s next game is in Ahmedabad against defending champion Gujarat Titans on Sunday. Bangalore returns home to Bengaluru to take on Lucknow Super Giants on Monday.