IPL: ‘Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t think of win vs Royal Challengers Bangalore’

The journey from woeful to wonderful took Kolkata Knight Riders 9.4 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.

KKR were out for a low score of 131 but then dismissed RCB for 49 – the lowest score ever in IPL.

“Obviously, we were little bit down halfway. We knew we were a little bit under par to say the least. But the captain (Gautam Gambhir) asked us to show some intent and some pride. The opening bowlers set the tone for us. The fact is that they came out firing, took some early wickets and really got us back in the game. From there on, it was just trying to put the ball in right areas. I think I would be lying to say that we came at the half-time saying that we would definitely win the game,” said Chris Woakes who finished with a spell 2-0-6-3 that included wickets of Chris Gayle, Stuart Binny and Sameul Badree.

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Nathan Coulter-Nile’s start to showing ‘intent’ came with a huge no-ball but the free hit gave an indication of things to come. It was fast and climbing which Gayle pulled but couldn’t keep down. The next ball swung and Gayle again couldn’t put bat to it. Then, with two slips in place, Virat Kohli reached for a ball moving away from him.

But even when Mandeep Singh cut Umesh Yadav straight to Manish Pandey, few could foretell what was in store. Though Yadav was bowling fast and getting movement in air, AB de Villiers hit the innings’ first four and, it seemed, RCB were on their way.

Coulter-Nile bowled a boundary ball and De Villiers duly said ‘thank you’ with another four. But then, Coulter-Nile bounced the South African and foxed by the extra pace, his pull climbed into the night sky and into Robin Uthappa’s gloves.

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With deliveries aimed at his body, into the blockhole and teasing Gayle and Kedar Jadhav outside the off-stump, Yadav then bowled perhaps his best over of IPL 10. KKR had started believing miracles and it showed in their body language.

Coulter-Nile got Jadhav with one that looked to have stopped and at 24/4, the Eden too started thinking it wasn’t impossible. From having worked a furious pace that got De Villiers, he had deceived Jadhav with a slower delivery.

When Woakes got Gayle with another short-pitched delivery that came faster than expected, KKR knew their fifth victory was around the corner. “The fact that we got those three early (Kohli, De Villiers and Gayle), it really made a big difference in us defending the total,” said Woakes.

On a good batting surface and against a team that came here having made the highest score of IPL10, KKR’s pacers hit the right length, bent their backs and swung a match around, when all seemed lost. “We were under-par (with the bat) but sometimes you have to just doff your hat to some good bowling,” said Woakes.

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