Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a winning start in the IPL 2021 as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs. Batting first, KKR got off to a steady start with Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana playing cautiously. While Shubman Gill was struggling to find his feet, Rana looked in prime form and stroked some crisp shots. The duo added 53 runs for the first wicket but it took them 7 overs to reach the score. KKR needed some momentum into the innings which was provided by Rahul Tripathi.
Nitish Rana too upped the ante and the KKR innings started galloping. In the next 8.2 overs, the duo added 93 runs before Tripathi departed for a brisk 51 off 38 balls. KKR was 146-2 in 15.2 overs and with seven wickets in hand, they looked set for a 200+ score. However, the tides once again turned and a flurry of wickets, courtesy of some disciplined bowling restricted KKR to 187-6 in their 20 overs. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers and picked up 2 wickets for 24 runs in 4 overs. Rana top-scored for KKR with a top class 80 off 56 balls.
Chasing a target of 188, SRH got off to a worst possible start and lost both their openers, David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha inside 3 overs with just 10 runs on the board. Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow then stabilized the innings, mixing caution with aggression and taking the game forward. The duo added 92 runs for the third wicket in 65 balls to bring SRH back in the game.
However, the run rate kept on increasing and in an attempt to keep pace with it, Bairstow lost his wicket for 55 off 40 balls. Neither the set Manish Pandey nor the new batsmen were able to break free in the final overs. Abdul Samad played a little cameo but it came a little too late. Had SRH promoted him ahead of Vijay Shankar, maybe the result could have been different.