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Cricket news - Chakravarthy fifer dents DC in massive chase

Varun Chakravarthy registered his best bowling figures of this edition so far

Varun Chakravarthy registered his best bowling figures of this edition so far

Kolkata Knight Riders outplanned and outplayed Delhi Capitals on their way to a comprehensive victory. Varun Chakravarthy ended with stunning figures of 5-20 to follow up a blistering stand between Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine that set up the win.

What clicked for KKR with the bat?

Almost everything worked well. Whether it was Nitish Rana who scored 81 off 53 while opening the batting, or Sunil Narine, coming in at No. 5 ahead of Eoin Morgan, and smashing 62 with four sixes in it. In their 56-ball partnership, the duo turned the tide around smashing 115 and taking KKR to their highest total in Abu Dhabi this season.

Why couldn't Delhi stop the duo?

Things had gone according to plan for Shreyas Iyer after he opted to bowl and his pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada did what is their strength, picking three wickets between them. At 42/3 in the 8th over, Rana was still only finding his feet, and Narine walked in with some pressure to up the ante. What the move did was bring in two left-handers in the middle overs, and threw Delhi's plans in disarray. Axar Patel bowled just one over thanks to the unfavourable match-up, and with the quick bowlers saved for the back-end, it played into Narine's hands. R Ashwin was hit for 13 in his first over, while the other quick Tushar Deshpande too failed to respond well, being hit for 18 in an erratic over. These two overs set the tone for the rest of the innings as Iyer juggled his bowlers around but to no avail. Marcus Stoinis was hit for 41 in his four overs while Ashwin was completely lacklustre, even with attempted googles and went for 45 in just three overs.

Could Delhi have done anything different?

Iyer was forced to stick to a Plan B after this onslaught. Both Rabada and Nortje, who had the potential to challenge Narine with the short balls had bowled two overs each by the middle overs meant that Iyer had to bite the bullet to bring them back in for one more, with the danger of Eoin Morgan also lurking in the background. Morgan too would eventually play a good role in the back end hitting 17 off just 9 balls. It was a smart plan that was accentuated by perfect execution from KKR.

What went wrong for Delhi with the bat?

Pretty much everything. Pat Cummins trapped Ajinkya Rahane, who was replacing Prithvi Shaw, LBW first ball of the innings. And in his next over, he had the in-form Shikhar Dhawan bowled by a peach of a delivery from round the wicket. From 13/2, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant began a repair job but were kept in check by some tight bowling, particularly by Narine. The duo added 63 but ate up 53 valuable balls in the chase. Pant managed only three boundaries in his 33-ball stay in the middle.

The Varun Chakravarthy show

The noose had firmly tightened around Delhi by the time Varun Chakravarthy was introduced in the 12th over. Seen as the weak link, and with the scoreboard pressure increasing, Delhi were left with no choice but to attack him. Chakravarthy though stuck to his guns, turning the ball across the batsmen - both right and left - making it extremely difficult to get boundaries off him. He ripped through the middle order accounting for Pant, Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel which proved to be the killer blows, condemning DC to their second consecutive defeat in the tournament, and third overall in as many games in Abu Dhabi.

Where do they go from here?

Delhi Capitals have a two-day break before they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Tuesday. KKR have just a day's gap before their next game against Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah on Monday.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 194/6 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 81; Sunil Narine 64; A Nortje 2-27) beat Delhi Capitals 135/9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 47; Varun Chakravarthy 5-20) by 59 runs