Eoin Morgan has revealed that the decision to send Sunil Narine to bat at number 5 after KKR lost 3 early wickets was taken by the coach Brendon McCullum, who likes to play his cards. He praised Varun Chakravarthy for his performance with the ball and added that he is a hard-working cricketer.
Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t quite get off to a good start, losing early wickets of Shubman Gill followed by Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik, but a brilliant cameo from Sunil Narine, who scored a 32-ball 64, combined with a classical batting display from Nitish Rana, helped the side post a total of 194. Rana played a clinical knock to score 53-ball 91, including 13 fours and 1 six. Anrich Nortje, taking 2 wickets for 27 runs, was the best bowler for Delhi.
"We had had a nice couple of days to reflect on things. In such a compact tournament, it can be easy to get caught up. Great of Sunil to come back and play as a proper allrounder. And Nitish Rana and him adding all the runs. The decision to bat Narine there is all the coach. He likes to play his cards. It is all Brendon. Given the nature of the tournament, it is not a tournament where sides get 100 in top 10. You need a longer batting line-up than a strong one. That is why I am batting lower,” Morgan said in the post-match interview.
In reply, Delhi too lost early wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan but were steadied by the partnership of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. However, Pant fell soon after scoring 27 off 33 balls to Varun Chakravarthy. Shimron Hetmyer and skipper Shreyas Iyer followed suit and got out to Chakravarthy on consecutive balls. Finally, Kolkata won the match by 59 runs. Chakravarthy was the stand out bowler for Kolkata, ending with the figures of 5/20. Morgan praised the Tamil Nadu lad for his outstanding bowling and termed him as the ‘standout performer of the team’.
“Varun is such a humble guy. he just goes about his work. Throughout the tournament, he has been our standout performer," Morgan said.