Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy's five-wicket haul and scintillating half-centuries from Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine combined to hand Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) a valuable 59-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match and remained in fray to qualify for the playoffs.
The win gives KKR a boost to their net run rate as they look to fend off challenges from SunRisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals below them in the race for the final playoff spot.
Rana scored 81 off 53 balls while Narine scored 64 off 32 balls to push KKR's score to 194/6 wickets in 20 overs. In reply, DC ended up at 135/9 in 20 overs.
Chakravarthy first dismissed Rishabh Pant in the 12th over, who along with DC captain Shreyas Iyer were going big and fixing the damage caused by Pat Cummins's opening spell. During the innings,
Pant completed 100 sixes in his IPL career. Having done so in 1,224 balls, he is the fastest Indian to have reached the milestone, beating the record set by Yusuf Pathan, who had done that in 1,308 balls.
Chakravarthy then got Shimron Hetmyer and Shreyas off consecutive balls in the 14th before getting Marcus Stoinis in his next. Axar Patel fell in the same over to complete Chakravarthy's five-wicket haul. His 5/20 is the best figures for a bowler this season.
Cummins, who has been struggling to get wickets this season, also came into the party. He dismissed Ajinkya Rahane leg before the wicket off the very first ball of the DC innings before castling the in-form Shikhar Dhawan for six in his next over. The DC innings eventually ended on 135/9 wickets.
Batting first, KKR were tottering at 42/3 wickets in the eighth over when Narine, sent in ahead of captain Eoin Morgan, joined Rana in the middle. He turned the tide in KKR's favour hitting six fours and four sixes.
Narine fell in the 17th over to Rabada but Rana carried on. He was finally dismissed on the penultimate ball of the innings on 81 by Marcus Stoinis. Stoinis then dismissed Morgan off the very next ball with the England captain on 17 off 9 balls.
Brief scores: KKR: 194/6 wkts in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 81, Sunil Narine 64; Anrich Nortje 2/27) beat DC: 135/9 wkts in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 47, Rishabh Pant 27; Varun Chakravarthy 5/20) by 59 runs