Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) suffered one of the unluckiest defeats in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). KKR lost the game against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) from a stage where they needed 31 runs off 30 deliveries with six wickets in hand.
The Kolkata-based franchise’s middle-order batsmen Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik miserably failed to finish the game for their side. The duo consumed 26 balls to put just 17 runs on the board. Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag questioned the intent of KKR batsmen, branding their performance as ‘shameful’.
“Eoin Morgan had given a statement that they will play that way (with positive intent) after the first game but it didn’t look like that when Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came in to bat,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz. “The way Russell and Karthik batted, it felt like they planned to take the game till the end and win it. But that didn’t happen. The batters who came before them – be it Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill or Nitish Rana – all of them played with positive intent.”
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“Kolkata Knight Riders just lost the game which was almost won at one stage. When Russell came into bat, KKR needed 30 runs in 27-odd balls. Dinesh Karthik batted till the end but couldn’t win the game. That’s a shameful defeat,” he said.
‘Either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end’: Sehwag
Kolkata Knight Riders were cruising towards victory at one stage as they were 72-0 after 8.4 overs while chasing a small target of 153. KKR openers Nitish Rana (57) and Shubman Gill (33) played decent knocks but could not inch past their side towards the finishing line. Also, no other Kolkata batsman was able to cross the double-digit run-mark during their innings.
The former cricketer said that either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end as MI’s innings collapsed too after a good start.
“The runs per ball difference wasn’t much except for the last couple of overs. We saw how to lose a game that is almost won. You hardly get any game where you are chasing 152 and you need to score 36-odd runs in 6 overs with 6-7 wickets in hand. In such scenarios, teams prefer to end the game quickly to improve their net run rate. But KKR failed to do that and hampered their net-run rate.
Either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end. They had seen what had happened in the MI innings, despite getting off to a good start they could only manage 152,” he said.
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