RCB vs KKR Greasy hands come to Shreyas Iyer’s rescue; Virat Kohli shows his wrist power; Phil Salt offers an unusual cutaway | IPL News

Emotional roller coaster: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru by 7 wickets.

RCB KKR IPLKolkata beats Bengaluru. (PTI)

Fat palm trees, theme of the day

Shreyas Iyer kicked the field in anguish. He had just misfired a shot towards Yash Dayal. Then he turned to his left and, to his delight, saw the left-arm seamer bomb the catch, letting the ball slip through his palms. Iyer smiled sheepishly. The RCB men were gutted. Vijaykumar Vyshak, the unfortunate, curses his miserable luck. Virat Kohli looked dejectedly at the sky. The overthrown catches were not an aberration, KKR had lost three, which is about the average catches dropped in a match this IPL. Glenn Maxwell was offered two lives in 19 balls, although it didn’t prove too costly. The tally, after 10 games, stands at 28, or almost three lost catches per game.

Kohli surpasses wrist power

Virat Kohli was waiting. He knew Mitchell Starc would sew one into his pads. Many left-arm seamers have tasted success against Kohli this way. But if Kohli sees the ball as well as he wants, it becomes easy fodder for him. He would whip him with those obnoxious wrists. The sequence unfolded in a predictable pattern. Starc stitched the ball, only for the ball to stray to the leg side, a ball would have almost slipped past fine leg. Kohli had moved for the flick, but the line wasn’t quite workable. But Kohli stood where he was, showing two stumps, and in the last minute he gave his wrists a fierce flick and the ball flew over mid-wicket.

Kohli’s love for doubles

There were plenty of boundaries to admire in Virat Kohli’s 83* against KKR. The wrist work on film, the timing of the sweeps, the ability to fill gaps when offside. But two moments also stood out from all those, summing up Kohli, the white-ball cricketer. There have been fewer better runners between the wickets than him. He made a total of eight deuces for himself in the match and for these two, he must have judged them to perfection. First, in the 15th over, a deep shot found Rinku Singh. The throw was terrific from the KKR man, but Kohli – who rarely has to dive to finish his runs – soon realized it was going to be a bit short. He threw himself forward at full length and saved his wicket by the narrowest of margins. Then, in the 20th, he pushed the ball towards deep middle and was still determined to come back for the second. This time it was a direct hit, but Kohli’s sprint allowed him to cross the finish line by a few millimeters again, but no diving was necessary, just all the energy he had in the world at the end of a long inning.

An unusual cut of Salt

Philip Salt has an unusual late cut. Usually, batsmen shift their weight to the back foot and swing the body a little to create space for the tricky shot. But Salt remained static, let the ball go into him and then cut rather than cut the ball. In his hands, even the most skillful blows took on a tinge of violence. KKR wouldn’t have minded as he propelled them to a fast start along with Sunil Narine, freewheeling as usual.

Nostril the opener, return and how

Mandeep Singh, Rahmaullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Narayan Jagadeeshan, Jason Roy… just the names of some of the KKR openers last year. But this year they returned to Sunil Narine as opener after pushing it back into the order. Narine has been an He was eliminated in the first match against SSR so potential fireworks had to wait. Narine often tries to free his arms by moving away from the line of the ball. If he connects, he stays hit most of the time.

Misses are part of his game, just like free kicks. With an explosive 47 off 22 with five sixes and two fours, Narine did what Narine does. KKR raced to 85 without a single defeat in the Powerplay, with Narine scoring almost 50 of those runs. The Narine bet at the top is worth taking for KKR. One good thing about Narine is that he doesn’t waste time or deliveries. He has the license to thrill and has no fear of failure.

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First published online on: 30-03-2024 at 00:19 IST

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