The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) resumed their IPL 2021 campaign on the brightest of notes with a dominant win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 31. KKR were the dominant side from the get go after losing the toss and being asked to bowl first.
The bowlers set up the win for the two-time IPL champions, as they were able to successfully bundle out the RCB unit for a paltry total of 92. Shubman Gill (48) and Venkatesh Iyer (41*) led the charge and never looked in a state of bother as KKR wrapped up the contest in exactly ten overs.
It was a happy camp inside the dressing room in Abu Dhabi. Former Indian spinner and KKR player Harbhajan Singh went up to Andre Russell and Venkatesh Iyer to appreciate their efforts. The squad also applauded Varun Chakravarthy for his sweep of the awards at the presentation ceremony after a match-winning spell of 3-13 in four overs.
KKR Coach Brendon McCullum was highly impressed with his side's victory and noted the contributions of key players in the game. Speaking in the dressing room for KKR's social media handles, McCullum said:
"Outstanding performance from each and everyone. Every team has big players in it, right? If we get the mentality that we're going to take them down, look what can happen. AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, we dominated these guys today. Look them in the eye and say, 'we'll take you on.'"
KKR attained two crucial points with this win and a huge boost to their net run rate as well.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan reckons the team will be hard to beat if they continue playing like this
Skipper Eoin Morgan was all praise for the players following the dominant fashion of the victory. He noted that the side can make Abu Dhabi their fortress as it aids their team. Morgan said:
"Boys, just one thing for me. I thought you were outstanding today. Absolutely brilliant, the bowlers set everything up. This ground suits us as a team, particularly our bowling. So, if we turn up, do our basics well and trust what we do works well here, then we're gonna be hard to beat."
Opening batsmen Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer also spoke about their outings in the middle. The left-right pair, opening the innings together for the first time, stitched a 82-run partnership for KKR during the chase. Iyer said:
"The team has won. That's the only result I wanted. Happy to contribute, this is the momentum that we needed. Hopefully, we kill it. Credit to Shubman, they way he batted gave me a lot of confidence."
Shubman Gill praised his new opening partner and pointed out the importance of not getting ahead of himself following a few good sessions at the nets. He said:
"He (Venkatesh Iyer) has been batting really well in the practice matches and the nets. So it was important for him to not get ahead of himself. The team was determined to make a comeback after where we were on the table. The way we bowled, the way we batted, really showed how much we want to win this tournament."
KKR will face the Mumbai Indians (MI) next at the same venue on September 23.
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