After a recovery act with the bat by Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana, Varun Chakravarthy’s mystifying spin (4-0-20-5) bamboozled the Delhi Capitals as it slumped to a 59-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Chakravarthy got rid of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer in quick succession, taking advantage of the Delhi batsmen’s desperation to keep up with an ever-increasing asking rate.
Narine (64, 32b, 6×4, 4×6) – back after a four-game absence – forged a 115-run stand off just 59 balls with Nitish Rana (81, 53b; 13×4, 1×6) to propel the Knights to 194-6 after South Africa’s Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada had KKR reeling at 42 for three.
Promoted to open the innings, Rana took his time before tearing into the Delhi bowlers, a Ravichandran Ashwin over yielding 13 runs. Narine complemented his partner perfectly, crafting his innings with six boundaries and four sixes.
DC brought in Ajinkya Rahane (0, 1b) – in place of the under-performing Prithvi Shaw – to partner Shikhar Dhawan (6, 6b; 1×4), but that move failed as Pat Cummins sent both packing early.
Captain Shreyas Iyer (47, 38b; 5×4) and Pant (27, 33b; 2×4, 1×6) stitched a 63-run partnership, but the target always looked too steep and Chakravarthy left the opposition stumped as he returned with the second-best figures by an uncapped Indian in the IPL. Ankit Rajpoot took 5/14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018.
The win helped the Knights move to 12 points and fourth in table, keeping the team on course for a last-four spot.
Brief Scores: KKR 194/6 after 20 overs (Nitish Rana 81, Sunil Narine 64, Anrich Nortje 2/27) beat DC 135/9 (Shreyas Iyer 47, Varun Chakravarthy 5/20, Pat Cummins 3/17) by 59 runs.