IPL 2024: RCB skipper hails KKR openers Salt, Narine

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 30, 2024 IST

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt

Bengaluru, March 30: After suffering a seven-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, Royal Challengers Bengaluru skipper Faf du Plessis admitted that the game’s fate was decided when Phil Salt and Sunil Narine unleashed a stunning assault in the first six overs of the chase to take the game away from the hosts.

Chasing 183 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday evening, Sunil Narine, playing his 500th T20 match, starred with a blazing 47 off 22 balls at the top, while Phil Salt breezed to 30 off 20 balls as KKR amassed 85/0 from their first six overs of the chase.

That set the base for KKR to complete the chase in 16.5 overs, with Venkatesh Iyer hitting a 30-ball fifty and captain Shreyas Iyer making 39 not out for the two-time IPL winners to become the first team winning an away match in the ongoing season.

“You can always know after the game, we can say perhaps try one or two things but the way the two of them (Narine and Salt) were striking the ball, some really good batting there, they put pressure on our bowlers,” du Plessis said on Friday night. “They hit strong cricket shots and pretty much took the game away. With Narine there, you can't really go to spin, you want to use pace upfront. That's also a really good match-up for Salt and the way he plays. They were excellent, really broke the game in the first six overs,” said du Plessis after the match ended.

Du Plessis also spoke about how he couldn’t use off-spin of Glenn Maxwell as there was no help for him from the pitch. “We've tried the spinning options with Maxi (Glenn Maxwell), the finger-spinners seem to be effective here, but at night there wasn't too much spin, with left-hand, right-hand combination, it's one of those things, you can bowl a spinner.”

“But as you saw when Venky was playing against the left-arm spinner (Mayank Dagar), you feel like it's an easy hit on a small boundary to hit with the spin. Ideally, you want someone who can spin the ball both ways but with the set-up of our team tonight, we didn't have that option,” the RCB skipper said.

Speaking about RCB’s batting, where Virat Kohli top-scored with 83 not out off 59 balls, du Plessis felt 182 was a decent score while pointing out the two-paced nature of the pitch. “Strange one, first innings we thought that the wicket was very two-paced, you could see that when the guys bowled the cutters, back of a length, the guys really struggled.”

“We thought it was a decent score knowing that it gets a little bit easier in the evening, there was a little bit of dew that came in. Looking at the way we batted in the first innings, even if you have someone in there, Virat was struggling to hit the ball just because there was a lack of pace and the two-pacedness.”

The lone positive for RCB in a wayward bowling show was pacer Vyshak Vijaykumar, who took 1-23 in his four overs, where he mixed his variations and lines to good effect. “(Vyshak was) very good, he hasn't had opportunities. We had a look in the first innings, and we thought about bringing in Karn Sharma.”

“But we felt someone who could bowl really good slower balls is probably the most difficult bowler to face on this pitch. Dre Russ (Andre Russell) probably bowled 80% of his balls cutters. We took some learnings from that, and he was the best bowler of the evening," said du Plessis. (IANS)

    Tags
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • Faf du Plessis
  • Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
  • Phil Salt
  • IPL 2024
  • Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)
  • Sunil Narine

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