IPL 2020: Talking points from Match 12 as KKR beat RR
This was Kolkata Knight Riders' second win in three matches of the ongoing Indian Premier League. Their only loss came against defending champions Mumbai Indians. Meanwhile, this was Rajasthan Royals' opening loss of the tournament, as they slip to the third spot.
Former champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) came up with a fine bowling performance, as they tamed fellow former champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 37 runs, in Match 12 of the continuing Indian Premier League (IPL), in Dubai, on Wednesday. The win took KKR to the second spot in the table.
Match report: Winning the toss, RR skipper Steve Smith elected to bowl first. The decision did not seem to be bad initially, as KKR of off to a slow, but steady start. It was opener Shubman Gill's patient knock of 47, followed by Eoin Morgan's late knock of an unbeaten 34 that propelled the side to a par total of 174/6.
In reply, RR were off to a shaky start. They not only lost their opening two wickets in the powerplay but half of their side within 10 overs. The uncapped Indian bowlers in the form of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Varun Chakravarthy claimed a couple of wickets each, as the regular breakthroughs derailed RR's progress (137/9). Let us take a look at the talking points from the game.
Jofra Archer did well with the ball: Although KKR did manage to score a par total, it would have been even better, had it not been for Archer's sublime spell. Claiming a couple for just 18, Archer ensured that the KKR batsmen, especially his English skipper Morgan, did not go berserk.
Smith's captaincy restricted Andre Russell: Russell seemed to be in the mood today, as he smashed 24 off just 13 deliveries that included three sixes. However, he rotated his bowlers at the right time, followed by the perfect field setting, to get rid of him, without doing much damage.
Bigger ground made things difficult for RR: It is no secret that the short ground of Sharjah, followed by a flat batting track, allowed RR to soar high in their opening two games. However, Dubai was relatively bigger than Sharjah. Also, with the track assisting the pacers, it became even difficult for the batsmen to score on a consistent basis. RR need to get out of the comfort zone of Sharjah.
Pat Cummins getting back to the groove: Australian pacer Cummins did struggle in the opening game, while he bounced back with a wicket in the last game. This game, he was even better, as he claimed a wicket for just 13 runs and getting rid of the all-important, skipper Smith. It's true that with each passing game, Cummins is bound to get even dangerous.
Young Indians nailing it: The true biggest highlight of the match was the young Indian talents from KKR, who just tore apart the RR batting line-up, with their sheer bowling skills. The likes of Mavi, Nagarkoti and Chakravarthy, who claimed a couple of wickets each, were just gems to watch. The Indian prospects are just starting to prove their worth in the big stage.