IPL 2021: Magnificent Nitish Rana scores 80 as clinical Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs | XtraTime
Xtra Time Web Desk: An 80 (57) filled shot from Nitish Rana helped Kolkata Knight Riders register 10 victory points over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 3rd IPL 2021 game at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Rahul Tripathi also hit brilliantly to score 53 out of 29 points, as he and Rana (Nitish) sewed together 93 very crucial points for the second wicket to set a goal of 188 points.
Disciplined bowling led by Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna helped the Crimson Army win the match, despite half-centuries of Manish Pandey 61 (44) and Jonny Bairstow 55 (40).
Veteran Harbhajan Singh made his Knight Riders debut opening the bowling alley with Shakib Al Hasan. The last time Harbhajan played a competitive match was back in IPL 20219. KKR’s other prominent name is Shakib Al Hasan who picked Wriddhiman Saha’s wicket on his first delivery.
KKR got off to a good start with Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill enjoying the power play. After Gill was sacked in the 7th, Rana anchored the innings with Rahul Tripathi with the two quick runs scoring to put SRH on the rearfoot. After Rana finished his 50 out of 37 balls, Tripathi raised his in 27. But once Tripathi got out of T Natarajan, Rashid Khan put a check on the score with a good bowling alley.
On the other side, Mohammad Nabi rocked KKR with two wickets in two balls – Nitish Rana (80) and Eoin Morgan (2) in the 18th. In the end, KKR posted 187/6 after Dinesh Karthik’s late charge with 22 of 9.
The Sunrisers got off to the worst possible start in the tough race, losing David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha in the third. But Bairstow and Pandey anchored the heats with a 92-race partnership. Both have completed their half centuries to keep SRH in the game. Pat Cummins gave KKR a big breakthrough when he saw the Bairstow rear caught in point by Nitish Rana. Abdul Samad played a long inning towards the end by hitting Cummins for two outrageous sixes, but it wasn’t enough to bring his team home.