In their very first game at home, back after more than 1400 days, Kolkata Knight Riders gave the crowd at Eden Gardens a victory to remember as they toppled Royal Challengers Bangalore with a massive 81-run win on Thursday.

At one stage after losing the toss, KKR found themselves at 89/5. Incredibly though, they went on to post 204/7 riding on a 103-run partnership between Shardul Thakur and Ruknu Singh. Shardul Thakur scored a sensational 29-ball 68, in an innings that took Eden Gardens by storm. Some sensational shots were hit as he scored his first IPL half century.

IPL 2023: Reactions as Shardul Thakur leads superb KKR batting recovery – ‘Lord does these things’

Chasing a colossal 205, Royal Challengers Bangalore were off to a great start as openers Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis breezed through the initials few overs. But the fluent run-scoring only lasted until spin made its appearance. Accounting for nine out of the ten wickets, KKR’s spin trio of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy and debutant Suyash Sharma wreaked havoc to dismiss the RCB batting line-up within 17.4 overs.

Narine (2/16) struck first, dismissing Kohli for 21. In the very next over, du Plessis (23) followed, bowled by Varun. The rest of the batting line-up produced a sorry-looking scorecard with six batters falling for single digit scores. David Willey (20*) and Akash Deep (17) struck a few in the end but the game was already out of reach then.

Leg-spinner Suyash – playing his first competitive senior T20 game – picked up Dinesh Karthik (9), impact player Anuj Rawat (1), Karn Sharma (1), finishing with an impressive 3/30 on debut. Narine dismissed Shahbaz Ahmed (1), in addition to Kohli. Meanwhile, Varun stood out with bowling figures 4/15, having taken the wickets of du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell (5), Harshal Patel (0) and Akash Deep.

Earlier in the match, having won the toss, the RCB were able to make early in-roads with the ball as David Willey bowled a double-wicket maiden to dismiss Mandeep Singh and Venkatesh Iyer. Even as Rahmanullah Gurbaz batted superbly to anchor the innings and register his first IPL half-century, RCB were able to stay ahead in the game after Michael Bracewell dismissed captain Nitish Rana for 1.

Karn Sharma, like Willey, also took wickets off back-to-back deliveries dismissing the well-set Gurbaz for 57 and Andre Russell for nought, reducing KKR to 89/5 in 11.3 overs.

But it can be safely said that RCB had no idea what hit them when KKR launched a comeback to remember as Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh combined to stitch a 103-run-partnership off just 47 deliveries. Coupled with some inefficient bowling in the death from Harshal Patel (1/38) and Mohammed Siraj (1/44), KKR were propelled to 204/7. And eventually, that target to proved to be too much for RCB.

Shardul Thakur was declared player of the match.

As a result of the defeat, RCB’s NRR went from +1.981 to -1.256 in the space of one match.

GT 2 2 0 0.700 345/37.3 340/40.0 4
PBKS 2 2 0 0.333 350/36.0 338/36.0 4
KKR 2 1 1 2.056 350/36.0 276/36.0 2
RR 2 1 1 1.675 395/40.0 328/40.0 2
LSG 2 1 1 0.950 398/40.0 360/40.0 2
CSK 2 1 1 0.036 395/40.0 387/39.2 2
RCB 2 1 1 -1.256 295/36.2 375/40.0 2
DC 2 0 2 -1.703 305/40.0 356/38.1 0
MI 1 0 1 -1.981 171/20.0 172/16.2 0
SRH 1 0 1 -3.600 131/20.0 203/20.0 0