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RCB bowlers smother KKR to win first match of the season

No top six KKR batsmen crossed 15 as RCB leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga mixed his leg-spinners and googlies to take four wickets for 20 and medium-pacer Harshal Patel bowled two rare wicket maidens to put the brakes on the KKR innings.

March 30, 2022 / 11:36 PM IST

Defending a paltry 128 at the very venue that saw 200-plus being chased comfortably only three nights earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders did not give up. Led by their India star bowler Umesh Yadav, KKR gave Royal Challengers Bangalore a run for their money by picking up three early wickets in the Power Play to reduce the Faf du Plessis-led team to 36 runs in six overs.

Like he did in the first match of the season against Chennai Super Kings last Saturday, Yadav picked up two wickets including that of the immediate-past India and RCB captain, Virat Kohli, extracting bounce from the DY Patil Stadium surface and taking the outside edges. The Vidarbha right-arm pacer dismissed left-hander Anuj Rawat for a second-ball nought and then Kohli in his second over for 12.

Kohli began with a placement through the gaps on the off-side off Yadav and a flick for fours off his India team-mate. However, Yadav had the last laugh in his next over. In between, RCB lost du Plessis to New Zealander Tim Southee, the batsman trying to work the right-armer on the on-side only to take the edge to point fielder Ajinkya Rahane.

Though KKR picked up wickets even after Power Play, the target was too small to defend as the left-handed batsman from the West Indies, Sherfane Rutherford, played sensibly to steer RCB to a three-wicket victory, just that he did not stay till the end. Batting like a rock from third over till his dismissal for 28 in the 18th over, Rutherford held the RCB innings together. Fellow-left-hander from Bengal, Shahbaz Ahmed, pulled Andre Russell for two sixes in the innings’ 13th over to ease the tension in the RCB dug out.