The first half of the eliminator contest between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders has proven to be quite an exciting affair in Sharjah. The conditions have been tricky at the venue throughout the season and it was the same case on Monday. As RCB opted to bat first to set up the target, fans got to witness an intriguing battle between bat and ball.
It was Kohli and Padikkal who dominated the early part of the contest as they played some glorious shots in the powerplay. However, things started to turn in favour of KKR as the pitch started to slow down. After Lockie Ferguson dismissed Padikkal with a pacy delivery, it was the spin trio of Shakib Al Hasan, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine who took charge as they got the Men in Purple back into the contest by bowling some tight overs in the middle.
From 49/0 in 5 overs, the score suddenly read 100/3 in 14 overs and the game was hanging in balance ahead of the final phase of first innings. However, the batting side were struck with a huge blow in the next over.
Narine bowls a brilliant spell in Sharjah
Having already dismissed KS Bharat and Virat Kohli, Sunil Narine came to bowl the 15th over and produced another huge breakthrough for his side. The KKR spinner bowled a fullish delivery drawing the RCB batsman towards it. But unfortunately for ABD, that was Narine's plan as the off-spin delivery caught the batsman absolutely off guard as it struck his pads before crashing onto the stumps.
AB de Villiers was certainly looking in good touch on Monday and KKR needed something special to dismiss him, which they certainly got from their experienced spinner.