It seemed that Kolkata Knight Riders were on the path to recovery in Match 41 of IPL 2022 with skipper Shreyas Iyer and Nitesh Rana at the crease on Thursday.
KKR had slumped to 35/4 after the departure of Sunil Narine (0) and their downfall was brought about by their former player Kuldeep Yadav, who had represented KKR from 2018 to 2020.
Kuldeep again turned the match on its head when he got rid of Shreyas Iyer, caught by Rishabh Pant with a wrong ‘un fired in a way that that took an edge and the wicketkeeper pouched a low one-handed catch.
Two balls later, he picked his fourth victim by luring Andre Russell out of the crease by firing one a bit wide and though wicketkeeper Pant did not collect it cleanly and fumbled, he still had enough time to effect a stumping and reduce KKR to 83/6 in 14th over. Nitish Rana struck a 34-ball 57 and added 62 for the seventh wicket to help them post a modest total.
The left-arm spinner had earlier pushed them to 35/4 by sending back Baba Aprajith (6) and Sunil Narine (0) off successive deliveries.
Kuldeep, who last played an ODI and T20 in February 2022, was ignored by the national selectors after a dip in his form. He was also not retained by Rajasthan Royals, the franchise he represented in 2021. However, he got a boost when Delhi Capitals picked him in the mega auction for Rs 2 crore. The players obviously had some extra motivation to perform well against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The 27-year-old left-arm spinner from Kanpur tossed up the ball, mixed his most potent delivery, the wrong’un, well, and bowled at a consistent length and varied the pace, thus keeping the batters guessing.
The result was that in the three overs he bowled against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday, Kuldeep conceded only one four.
Chasing the modest target, Delhi Capitals suffered a few setbacks and were struggling at 84/5 but Rovman Powell (33 not out) and Axar Patel (24) ensured that they reached the target in 19 overs and sealed a superb win.