Nitish Rana cracked a fine half century while Andre Russell blasted a 12-ball 44 to propel Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to 200/9 in 20 overs against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Rana (59) played a gem of an innings, selecting his shots with aplomb, as he hit five fours and four sixes to set up KKR's onslaught and allow Russell, who was dropped on 7 by Jason Roy, to go for the big shots from the word go. Rana took 35 balls for his 59.
Russell hit six sixes in a three-over period where the hosts bludgeoned 54 runs before leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia (3/18) put a lid on the proceedings by taking three wickets in the last overs and conceding just one run.
Rana and Russell stitched together a 61-run partnership in just 22 balls for the fifth wicket.
Trent Boult started off with a maiden to give Delhi a good start. Lynn failed to get the New Zealand pacer away and took eight balls to open his account by hitting a six over midwicket off Chris Morris, who was returning to the team in place of Daniel Christian.
Boult removed Sunil Narine in his next over with the West Indian -- sent back to open the batting -- showing his inability to deal with a bouncer by top-edging a short ball to Rishabh Pant who lobbed the ball only as far as Glenn Maxwell to complete the catch running towards first slip.
Uthappa and Lynn then joined hands for a 55-run stand for the second wicket before the former perished just after the Powerplay. KKR were 50/1 when Uthappa skied a good length Shahbaz Nadeem delivery trying to slog sweep.
Nadeem took the catch without fuss, bringing captain Karthik to the crease.
Lynn, who was looking good for a big score, holed out to Roy at long on off Mohammed Shami who gave the Australian no room to free his arms.
Karthik and Rana added another 28 runs for the fourth wicket before the skipper's indiscretion cost him dear.
After dispatching two full length Morris deliveries to the midwicket boundary, Karthik attempted a third one in the same region not recognising that Gambhir had moved Boult from square leg as the Kiwi pouched an easy catch to silence the home crowd.
The visitors' joy, though, was shortlived as Russell and Rana took their rival's bowlers to the cleaners in the next few overs. Russell got out to Boult who castled him while Rana was removed by Morris.
In the final over, little-known Tewatia accounted for Shubman Gill (6), Tom Curran (2) and Piyush Chawla (0).
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 200/9 (Nitish Rana 59, Andre Russell 41; Rahul Tewatia 3/18) vs Delhi Daredevils
( 479 Words)