Eoin Morgan led-Kolkata Knight Riders opened their account by winning their first game of IPL 2021, defeating the SunRisers Hyderabad by ten runs. Kolkata Knight Riders produced a complete batting performance on a tricky Chepauk pitch, setting 188 to win for the opposition. Even though SunRisers Hyderabad fought valiantly, they could not match up. Eoin Morgan was thoroughly satisfied with the build-up to the tournament and how the Knight Riders overcame the Orange Army.
After winning the toss, SunRisers Hyderabad captain David Warner put Kolkata Knight Riders to bat. Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill build the foundation with a half-century stand as the former scored a brisk half-century after Gill perished. Rana shared a whirlwind 93-run partnership with Rahul Tripathi, following which there was a flurry of wickets falling. Dinesh Karthik produced a 9-ball 22 to lift the Knight Riders to 187 in 20 overs.
David Warner got a lifeline in the first over as Pat Cummins dropped a catch off his batting, but departed in the next over to Prasidh Krishna. The captain’s partner did not last that long either as he perished to Shakib Al Hasan. Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey put the Orange Army back on track by adding 92 runs. Pat Cummins unlocked the match by removing Bairstow for 52. Post that, the SunRisers showed glimpses of pulling off an unlikely one; however, they fell short.
We were very happy with our score: Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan conceded that the build-up to the tournament had been indeed good as the teammates gelled up pretty well. The Irishman credited Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi for batting well at the top and praised the new-ball bowlers for delivering early wickets. Eoin Morgan continued lavishing praises on head coach Brendon McCullum and admired Harbhajan Singh for starting well and helping guys after that. The 34-year old, who could contribute only a couple of runs to the total, concluded by stating that he was happy with their score and felt that if they bowled reasonably well, they should be over the line.
“Delighted. The build up to the tournament has been pretty good. The camp before the tournament, the guys seemed to gel really well. I thought it was magnificent the guys batted today at the top of the order in particularly, Nitish and Tripathi. And the bowling too, couldn’t have asked for a better start. It was a tight game against a really tough side. There’s a huge amount of thought and structure that goes into decisions on the field. We’ve got a great head coach and support staff. The IPL is all about results. I think guys buying in to what we are trying to do. Bhajji starting really well in the first over and not playing a part after that but using his experience to guide the others just shows that. Really happy with the start. We were very happy with our score, we thought if we bowled half decently well we should get over the line,” Eoin Morgan told in the post-match presentation.
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