IPL 2017 : Has Kolkata Knight Riders peaked a little too early in IPL10 ? Kolkata Knight Riders were sitting pretty on top of the points table having earned 14 points from 9 games that they had played and also boasted a very healthy NRR.
Their winning streak was hindered when Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) defeated them by 48 runs in the ‘away’ game played at Hyderabad.
Back home at Eden Gardens, having had a ‘great run’ under home conditions, Gambhir’s men were expected to make good the loss by winning the game against Royal Pune Supergiant (RPS).
However, the team led by Steven Smith had different ideas.
Put into bat by RPS, the home team could manage to score only 155 runs, losing 8 wickets in the process, in their quota of 20 overs. Only three batsmen, Manish Pandey (37), Colin de Grandhomme (36) and Surya Kumar Yadav (30) could touch the 30-run mark.
Chasing the target of 156 runs for a win, the 26-year old Rahul Tripathy, the RPS opener, took the battle right into the enemy camp and single-handedly notched up 59% of the required target runs.
Playing an innings of 84 minutes, facing 52 deliveries he scored 93 runs with the help of 9 fours and 7 sixes at 178.94 strike rate.
With the other batsmen chipping in with small scores, RPS managed to cross the line with 4 balls to spare.
KKR now occupies the second position in the points table with 14 points from 11 games just behind Mumbai Indians (MI) who have 16 points from 10 games. KKR, however, have a better NRR of +0.725 compared to +0.427 of MI.
They have three more games to play in the league stage and one of them is against MI at Eden Gardens. MI, in general, and their skipper, Rohit Sharma, in particular, have a ‘special affection’ towards Eden Gardens and have always ‘got better’ of the opposition.
Two other teams, RPS with 14 points and SRH with 13 points from 11 games each, are ‘breathing down’ the neck of KKR.
Having had a string of wins, suddenly KKR succumbed to a twin loss. Does it mean that the team ‘peaked’ a little too early in the tournament?
It would be interesting to wait and watch how they share up in the remaining games. Though they can be sure of a berth in the KO stage, the position in the KO table is also of significant importance.