Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan revealed that it was a conscious plan from his bowlers to come hard at Rajasthan Royals in the powerplay, due to the fact that they were a top-heavy side. The aggression paid dividends as KKR remarkably ended up picking 5 wickets in the powerplay.
Having put up 191 runs on the board at the half-way mark, KKR’s chances of bowling out Rajasthan cheaply looked bleak, thanks to the dew having set in as early as the 15th over of the first innings. RR scoring 19 runs in the very first over spelt warning signs, but in what was the most remarkable powerplay display with the ball all season, the duo of Pat Cummins and Shivam Mavi blew away the RR batting unit inside the Top 6. The wicket of Robin Uthappa triggered a collapse and astonishingly, the KKR pacers ended up picking not one, not two, but five wickets inside the powerplay.
It was rendered possible by the aggression the bowlers showed and speaking post-match, skipper Eoin Morgan, who scored a fine 68*, revealed that it was a conscious plan from the KKR bowlers to go after RR up top, due to the latter being heavily dependent on their top order.
“Having spent a bit of time out there in the middle, the hard length was the good length to bowl. Which is what we did. Keep it as simple as possible regardless of how Royals came at us. Shivam Mavi coming back was special, and Pat Cummins obviously. Winning the game was all about taking wickets, especially early. So having that aggressive mindset was important for us,” Morgan said in the post-match presentation.
99/5 at one stage, KKR threatened to fold early but a late rescue job from Morgan and Russell took them to 191, something the KKR skipper felt was par. Morgan revealed that all KKR batters had been instructed to bat with more freedom, due to the situation they found themselves in, heading into the game.
"I thought 191 was a par score. I think every batsman who came back said the wicket was beautiful to bat on. And the dew came in much earlier than expecting, so no real advantage for them. We were out there to play a free-flowing aggressive game anyway. That was the only way. Regardless of the dew. One thing was Dre Russ back in. That takes out conditions from the equation. We were prepared to take more risks when we batted.”
KKR needed to win by a 79-run margin to go ahead of both DC and RCB but despite not achieving it, they did their best, registering a thumping 60-run victory. Morgan revealed that the boys exactly knew the math involved and hoped to get some help from the cricketing gods.
“I was aware of 111 and the other one was 132. So we have kept the other milestone. I don't think we could have done any more today. Whatever happens from here on is in the hands of cricketing gods.”