What Rinku Singh did against Gujarat Titans happens once in a blue moon. It fills a batsman with immense confidence, even though it’s even rarer for lightning to strike twice at the same place. KKR needed their latest hero to do something similar on Friday. With skipper Nitish Rana going strong at the other end, Rinku first got set before unleashing his big shots. The two close friends took the hosts to a position where they could start believing that the biggest chase in IPL history was possible. The 69 runs they put on in 42 deliveries kept Knight Riders in the game, with Rinku frequently playing the sort of shots that proved that what happened last weekend wasn’t a fluke. A first IPL 50 came, though the task always seemed a bit too tall on this occasion.
Judging by the way Harry Brook struggled against spin – especially leggies – in his first two outings, it seemed the logical move for Sunrisers Hyderabad to send him at the top of the order. However, Kolkata Knight Riders missed a trick by not getting Suyash Sharma with the new ball. Umesh Yadav and Lockie Ferguson opened the bowling, and were taken to the cleaners by the latest prodigy in English cricket. The first two overs went for 14 each with Brook making most of the scoring, even hitting Umesh over point for successive sixes.
He was merciless on both full and short deliveries, and clearly enjoyed pace on the ball. However, the pace of scoring dropped considerably as Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and then Suyash came into the attack, with the overseas duo of Brook and skipper Aiden Markram became a little more circumspect after the loss of two wickets. The leg-spinner, in fact, spilled a regulation caught-and-bowled chance in his first over. But with their eye in and the venue being a high-scoring one, it wasn’t long before they put the foot on the accelerator again. A bit of out-of-the-box thinking could have worked for the Knight Riders.
– Tushar Bhaduri
Youngster steps up
Heinrich Klaasen had been in terrific form coming into the IPL, with a lightning-quick ODI hundred against West Indies. But he was not sent to maintain the tempo after skipper Aiden Markram departed after a 26-ball 50. Harry Brook, at the other end, had been a bit becalmed against the KKR spin trio, and it came on the shoulders of the young Abhishek Sharma to keep the foot on the bowlers’ throats. Being a left-hander would have also played a part in the decision to send him. And the 22-year-old, coming into the side for Washington Sundar, didn’t disappoint.
After a slow start, during which he was dropped by Shardul Thakur in the outfield, the left-hander came into his own in the last five overs. Against leggie Suyash Sharma came back-to-back off-side boundaries. Sunil Narine was cut for a four, and then hoicked over midwicket for a maximum. Varun Chakravarthy was given the same treatment, and though he departed in the penultimate over for a 17-ball 32, the Punjab youngster had done enough to take Sunrisers well over the 200-mark and allow Brook to play in his comfort zone – attacking the pace bowlers. Not getting a chance in the initial matches may have resulted in many youngsters’ head dropping, but Abhishek was up to the challenge when given a chance.
– Tushar Bhaduri
When one has express speed, sometimes the red mist descends. Umran Malik has pace to burn, but was taken to the cleaners by Nitish Rana in the final over of the Powerplay. The speedster kept digging in short, and the left-hander kept pulling and slashing. Not everything came from the middle of the bat, but the end result was 28 runs in six balls, which infused fresh life in the chase that was going nowhere. Skipper Aiden Markram didn’t help his bowler by changing the field after every ball, but the ball invariably went in vacant spots. Eden Gardens is a fast scoring ground, and when a batting team gets going, it’s tough to pull them back, with the fielders also floundering.
Markande on the mark
Chasing a total of 228, the batting side has no option but to target every bowler. But it becomes tricky when one is not reading what is coming out of the bowler’s hand. Mayank Markande’s concoction of leg-breaks, googlies and all variations kept the batsmen guessing, and cane away with the wickets of opener Narayan Jagadeesan and the explosive Andre Russell. Figures of 2/27 in four overs went a long way in securing Sunrisers Hyderabad’s second successive win, despite the seemingly unending sequence of dropped catches. Markande was the hero in their win over Punjab Kings as well, and his contribution, along with the awkward bounce and pace of Marco Jansen, can take the team deep in the tournament after starting with two losses on the trot.
– Tushar Bhaduri
First published on: 14-04-2023 at 23:39 IST
News Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/ipl/kkr-vs-srh-ipl-2023-rinku-singh-almost-does-it-again-harry-brook-is-merciless-pace-backfires-8556899/lite/