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IPL 2018: KKR to take on RCB in Kolkata Sunday

09 April 2018

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets in their opening match of IPL 11 at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

RCB seem far more balanced than before with the arrival of Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes and Corey Anderson.

With de Villiers blazing all guns at one point their run graph was looking past 200 but part-time off-spinner Rana produced twin dismissals in two balls - De Villiers and Kohli - to reduce RCB for 127/4 in 14.2 overs.

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Rana, who dismissed AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries, hit 25-ball 34 (2x4, 2x6) as he along with the skipper saw through the critical phase.

KKR: Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Nitish Rana, Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Sunil Narine, Vinay Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Javon Searles. Kohli and AB de Villiers will once again form a strong top-order with 2,212 runs together in 53 innings, including seven century stands. He took charge immediately, launching Kuldeep for two sixes.

Chris Woakes, albeit expensive, impressed with three wickets and Umesh Yadav took two but Kolkata still reached the target in the penultimate over. With Virat Kohli's aggressive statements and press conferences prior to the tournament, RCB will definitely start as the favourites against a slightly weak and injury prone Kolkata-based team. If McCullum is fit I expect QDK to miss out and that may not be the best option but I'll still take the Royal Challengers at [1.77] as opposed to KKR at [2.24].

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KKR vs RCB Final Scorecard. He was helped along the way by Virat Kohli's strategy of using Yuzvendra Chahal in the first over and persisting with spin throughout the Powerplay, often without a long-off in place. Narine stopped McCullum at 43 by bowling him. With this effort de Villiers became the third-highest six-hitter in IPL history. Rana, not getting another over was, however, bit shocking.

Kohli and Co. finished at the bottom of the pile last time and since the start of the IPL have come close to laying their hands on the elusive trophy thrice - in 2009, 2011 and 2016. Interestingly, they included Rinku Singh in the team who had rocked the domestic season with the bat this year and also picked Mitchell Johnson purely on the basis of pace.

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IPL 2018: KKR to take on RCB in Kolkata Sunday