Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan reflected on a “great start” to the IPL 2021 second leg, after his side’s convincing nine-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Monday, September 20. KKR jumped up two positions to occupy the fifth position in the points table.
KKR bowlers put on a disciplined all-round show to skittle out RCB for 92 in 19 overs, before openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer (on IPL debut) added 82 in 9.1 overs to set up a thumping nine-wicket win.
The net run-rate saw a massive boost for Eoin Morgan’s men, and they edged past the Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals to take the fifth position in the IPL 2021 points table, with each of the three teams locked at six points. The skipper couldn’t be more impressed.
"Very rarely do you perform as well as we have today,” Morgan said after the match. “The talent we have within our squad, it counts for nothing, you have to still go out and show how strong you are and we did today.
“I didn't think the wicket changed a great deal, RCB started well, but taking a wicket at the backend of the power-play changed things for us. Collectively, we took valuable wickets. Maxwell, AB, Virat - we managed to get on top of all of them, it's very rare as well."
Morgan further reinstated that the side will persist with positive cricket, as he reflected on a "right start" to the season's second leg.
“As a group, with the expressive nature with which the guys play, playing under me or Baz (Brendon McCullum), should be an absolute treat. We're not going to knock people for playing their shots.
“We have a long way to go, and need a lot of things to go right. Today's the right start, need that run of confidence. We haven't turned up for the majority of the tournament, but today was a great start."
The stars of the show were Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy, who combined to return with 6/22 from seven overs between them. Chakravarthy in particular bowled with immaculate control, dismissing Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga and Sachin Baby within a space of two overs to finish with 3/13.
"When I have the ball in my hand, I try to assess the pitch," Chakravarthy said after receiving the Man of the Match award. "It was flat, credit to the bowlers for bowling well in the PP. I like to set it up for the bowlers who come on after me. There wasn't much spin on offer, so I had to keep my line on the stumps only.
“Playing for India has made me feel better, I have a sense of acceptance from people around me, because I started at 26."