It was a slow start in the first match in Chennai where both teams had to crawl to reach 160. Tonight, it wasn’t the case as Kolkata Knight Riders were on the charge from the beginning. By virtue of a 10-run win, Kolkata opened the account in their first match. Eoin Morgan, who took over the captaincy from Dinesh Karthik in the mid-way of IPL 2020 is off to a winning start this season.
Go big or go home
Nitish Rana has been exceptional since he has started to open the innings. In tonight’s game, it was evident by the way he got things going. He has scored runs at an average of 52.7 as an opener. However, his pattern of scoring has been one of a kind. In the last six innings, irrespective of his batting position, he has scored three 80+ scores. On the other hand, in the other three innings he has been packed off for a first ball duck.
Highest total for Kolkata against Hyderabad
A fifty run partnership for the opening wicket, followed by another 93 for the second wicket set the tone for Kolkata. They ended up scoring 187, but, at the end of the 15th over, it looked like they would touch the 200-run mark. Nevertheless, 187 was a decent total, considering the conditions in Chennai. The total of 187 is the highest Kolkata have posted against Hyderabad in IPL. Their previous best came at Eden Gardens in 2019 (183/4).
The third team to 100th win in IPL
The two time champions registered a special milestone via a 10-run win in the third match of the season and their season opener. After registering their highest score against Hyderabad, their bowlers gave them a perfect start by removing David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha in quick succession. Though, there was a hiccup later on, especially the partnership of 92 runs between Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey, they managed to bounce back. By virtue of this win, Kolkata registered their 100th victory and became the third team in IPL to achieve this feat.
The perfect starters
Kolkata has been one of the four teams (Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals) which has been a part of all the 14 editions of IPL and certainly one amongst the successful teams. Two time title winners and 100 wins are a proof of it. In almost every season, they have had the perfect starts. Out of the 14 editions, they have won the season opener on 10 occasions with a win percentage of 71.4 percent. Their win percentage in the season opener is the best among the current IPL teams.
An uncharacteristic record for Manish Pandey
Manish is no doubt a fantastic player, his century at the Supersport Park and a match winning knock in the 2014 IPL final for Kolkata are few of his biggest highlights. However, out of the 3000 odd runs he has scored in IPL, most have come in defeats. Especially since 2016, it gets worse. Manish has scored 1758 runs in IPL since 2016 with 14 scores of over 50. Unfortunately, 1101 runs and 11 out of those 14 fifty plus scores have been in a losing cause. He has an average of 40.8 in losing cause in IPL since 2016. Among batsmen who have been involved in 10 or more losses, only KL Rahul has a higher average than him (49.3).
Indians shine in the first three matches
In all the three matches that have happened this season, it has been the Indian players who have outshined the overseas players. In all the three matches, the man of the match winners has been Indians. Harshal Patel in the first match, Shikhar Dhawan in the second and Nitish Rana in tonight’s match. Never in a season of IPL has there been three Indian man of the match awardees in the first three matches.