Varun bamboozles DC, keeps KKR afloat

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Varun bamboozles DC, keeps KKR afloat

The mystery spinner’s five for 20 complements the efforts of Rana (81) and Narine (64).

Varun Chakravarthy’s mystifying spin (4-0-20-5) left the Delhi Capitals befuddled as it slumped to a 59-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

After Nitish Rana (81, 53b, 13×4, 1×6) and Sunil Narine (64, 32b, 6×4, 4×6) — back in the team after a four-game absence, during which his bowling action was cleared — forged a 115-run stand off just 56 balls to propel KKR to 194, Varun broke DC’s back during the chase. He dismissed every match-winner DC could boast of — Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, and Axar Patel.

The win helped KKR stay in the race for the playoffs.

DC benched an under-performing Prithvi Shaw and paired Ajinkya Rahane with Shikhar Dhawan. But that move did not yield the desired result as Pat Cummins sent both packing early.

Dream spell

Shreyas (47, 38b, 5×4) and Pant (27, 33b, 2×4, 1×6) combined for 63 runs for the third wicket to leave the match interestingly poised. But Varun’s dream bowling in his first three overs (3-0-12-5) slammed the door shut. The DC batsmen struggled to pick him, and everyone except Axar fell while trying to slog. This was the 29-year-old’s maiden five-for.

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, KKR rode on Rana and Narine’s efforts. Having scored just 84 in its last outing against RCB, KKR was in trouble again at 42 for three. The left-handed duo stepped in to ensure that there were no further slip-ups. Rana, who was promoted to the opener’s slot, accelerated to perfection. Narine, at the other end, complemented his partner.

DC speedsters Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada ran out of steam after prising out the three top-order batsmen while Ashwin was the most expensive, conceding 45 in his three overs. Still, the match hung in the balance until midway through DC’s chase before Varun made it his evening.


Kolkata Knight Riders Innings: Shubman Gill c Patel b Nortje 9; Nitish Rana c Deshpande b Stoinis 81; Rahul Tripathi b Nortje 13; Dinesh Karthik c Pant b Rabada 3; Sunil Narine c Rahane b Rabada 64; Eoin Morgan c Rabada b Stoinis 17; Pat Cummins not out 0. Extras: (LB-1,W-6) 7

Total: (for 6 wickets in 20 overs) 194

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-35, 3-42, 4-157, 5-194, 6-194

Delhi Capitals bowling: Tushar Deshpande 4-0-40-0, Anrich Nortje 4-0-27-2, Kagiso Rabada 4-0-33-2, Axar Patel 1-0-7-0, Marcus Stoinis 4-0-41-2, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-0-45-0.

Delhi Capitals Innings: Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Cummins 0; Shikhar Dhawan b Cummins 6; Shreyas Iyer c Nagarkoti b Varun 47; Rishabh Pant c Shubman Gill b Varun 27; Shimron Hetmyer c Tripathi b Varun 10; Marcus Stoinis c Tripathi b Varun 6; Axar Patel b Varun 9; Kagiso Rabada c Tripathi b Cummins 9; Ravichandran Ashwin not out 14; Tushar Deshpande c Morgan b Ferguson 1; Anrich Nortje not out 0. Extras: (LB-1, NB-2, W-3) 6

Total: (for 9 wickets in 20 overs) 135

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-13, 3-76, 4-95, 5-95, 6-110, 7-112, 8-132, 9-135

Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Pat Cummins 4-0-17-3, M Prasidh Krishna 2-0-19-0, Kamlesh Nagarkoti 2-0-11-0, Lockie Ferguson 4-0-30-1, Sunil Narine 4-0-37-0, CV Varun 4-0-20-5.


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