Salt’s explosion, Iyer’s composure propel KKR to 222/6 against RCB


PTI, Apr 21, 2024, 5:53 PM IST

Kolkata: Opener Phil Salt’s aggressive 48 and skipper Shreyas Iyer’s composed fifty set the tone as Kolkata Knight Riders amassed a formidable 222 for six despite a significantly enhanced bowling display by Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their IPL match here on Sunday.

On a day when Sunil Narine (10, 15 balls) failed to get going, Salt, the world’s No. 2 T20I batter, was on fire smashing three sixes and seven fours to give KKR an explosive start, which later was exploited to the hilt by Iyer (50, 36b, 7×4, 1×6).

Andre Russell (27 not out, 20b) and Ramandeep Singh (24 not out, 9b) gave the home side some late impetus.

However, the under-fire RCB bowling unit made a spirited effort to reduce KKR to 75/3 at the end of power play, as KKR lost four wickets in 26 balls in that crucial middle-phase.

Venkatesh Iyer (16) and Rinku Singh (24) failed to convert their starts as RCB kept chipping away at the KKR batting order.

But Iyer held his nerves to produce his 20th IPL fifty, his first fifty this season, as KKR kept moving along.

He got out in the next ball after reaching 50 in 35 balls.

Russell was unusually quiet during his 27 from 20 balls (4×4). It was Ramandeep Singh’s cameo of 24 from nine balls with two fours and two sixes that lifted them to their third successive 200-plus total at the Eden Gardens.

Mohammed Siraj bowled wisely with his yorkers and wide yorkers for his 1/40, while Cameron Green was the best among RCB bowlers returning with 2/35.

Yash Dayal also picked 2/56 but was gave away one too many runs.

Fresh from his maiden T20 century, Narine struggled to get going as RCB bowlers kept him quiet with a mix of yorkers both at his pads and outside off.

Narine took eight balls to get off the mark, and Dayal nailed him with a toe-crushing yorker leaving him in pain in the second over.

But it was business as usual for Salt as KKR went past the 50-run mark in 3.5 overs.

The Englishman was particularly ruthless against Lockie Ferguson in the fourth over that yielded 28 runs.

Salt dealt only in boundaries, smacking the New Zealand pacer for two sixes and four fours in one over.

Siraj finally brought an end to Salt’s assault, dismissing him two runs shy of a well-deserved fifty as the right-hander failed to clear square leg boundary to be caught by Rajat Patidar.

Dayal’s twin breakthrough of Narine and Angkrish Raghuvanshi in the last power-play over put the home team in disarray, even as their 12-plus run rate was a big respite.

Narine was beaten by a slow ball and ended up skying a catch to Kohli at long on, while it was Green’s blinder of a catch that yielded Raghuvanshi’s wicket.

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