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Kolkata – the city of joy has always made a better response towards anything related to sports.  IPL   in its 6th year saw no difference in the opening match at the Eden Gardens between KKR and DD from this part of the country.  The way people rush for the IPL tickets it seems like it’s been considered as a festival where every religion from all over the world wishes to join in and get a closer and closer  view of the cricketing priests ,live from the stands. Today’s match was from 8 p.m. and the city was up for it , the Esplanade area was jam-packed with cricket lovers moving towards the stadium-city’s heartbeat at present. It’s very tough to answer whether Kolkatans relates themselves with IPL as cricket lovers or for their love for Eden Gardens or just for the fun and entertainment IPL provides or for this total package at different prices. Kolkatans just love the game, they understand it quite well and so they love KKR. Why not? KKR won the last year’s IPL and people here love to lead. So, KKR got the support from their fans in the very first match of IPL VI and in return they too didn’t dishearten their fans. KKR won the match convincingly against DD and started their long journey of more than one and half months from where they ended it in the last season.

Now, straightway to the game.KKR won the toss and decided to field first. It seems that all was scripted as the opening delivery of IPL VI from the fast hands of Brett Lee uprooted the stumps of Unmukt Chand of DD. After that Warner and Mahela, the captain of DD put on an effective partnership of 44 runs just before the mystery spinner Sunil Narine picked up the dangerous opener, Warner. And that was start of DD’s downfall, from then on wickets fell at regular intervals. The DD’s batsmen just couldn’t stand infront of the top bowling line-up comprising of  Narine, Bhatia, Kallis, Balaji, Shukla.

The pitch of Eden Gardens has always been sporting. There has always been something for both the batsmen and bowlers. Today’s was a bit on the slower side and KKR bowlers pitched  it in the right areas from the beginning except few  loose balls  towards the leg side, major of them came in the overs of Kallis. Gauti never looked defensive tonight.  At one time he kept 2 slip fielders and then a silly mid-off in one of Narine’s overs. At the start the off-side was kept packed with a backward-point, point, cover point, a slip, mid-off and   Gauti  didn’t gave any loose and retained  his same mentality throughout the match. Jayawardene for the DD played the role of an anchor and almost batted throughout the innings. He got out of a good slower delivery from Lee after thrashing him for a six and a four.  Mahela scored invaluable 66 runs off 52 balls and after his departure DD’s innings collapsed adding just 3 runs in the final over losing the two remaining wickets.

KKR needed to chase a mere target of 129 runs in 20 overs. An unexpected start from KKR kept the sports loving Kolkatans in doubt regarding their easy win in the 1st match. Irfan Pathan bowled a maiden in the very first over . The struggling Bisla of KKR got out in the 4th delivery of the next over after hitting brilliant punching four off Nehra. Then, Kallis came down to bat. And  both Gambhir  and Kallis played in such a manner as if complementing each other. These  two were playing  very sensibly and  gave no scope for the DD ‘s bowlers  to unsettle them.  Shahbaz Nadeem, the left arm bowler  from  Bihar was brought in and that paid-off ,as he was able to tempt  Kallis for a big hit which resulted Kallis’ wicket into Nadeem’s account. Manoj Tiwary was the next man to bat for KKR. Gauti and Manoj accelerated the score with the mix of good hits and singles. Both of them got out in quick interval. After that Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan assured the victory lap and managed to give a thumping victory for KKR within 19 overs.

Narine booked the ‘Player of the match’ trophy and ensured his captain and KKR supporters that he still remains a mystery for the opponents. IPL is turning out to be real lucky for Gauti . As, after his severe failure in the domestic tournaments this season unexpectedly his batting clicked and lead KKR towards the victory with ease. Cricket is a game of uncertainties, isn’t it? Who knows it better than KKR? KKR will be back at the Eden Gardens on 14th April against the new IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, till then IPL.

BY ARIJT DAS.  https://www.facebook.com/arijitsportinglydas?ref=tn_tnmn

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