The Kolkata Knight Riders’ unbeaten run continues in the 2024 Indian Premier League as they defeated the Delhi Capitals by 106 runs in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

The Rishabh Pant-led Capitals were bowled out for 166 after being asked to field first and fell to their third loss in only four matches into the season. They were chasing a mammoth 273-run target.

Tristan Stubbs (54) and captain Pant (55) scored quick fire half-centuries for the Capitals, but it was not enough as Vaibhav Arora and Varun Chakravarthy picked up three wickets apiece to derail their chase.

Earlier in the day, the Knight Riders posted a score of 272/7 – the second highest total in the Indian Premier League history – as Sunil Narine (85) and Angrish Raghuvanshi (54) chipped in with half-centuries.

There were also vital cameos from Andre Russell (41) and Rinku Singh (26) towards the latter part of the innings and no Capitals bowler was spared. Anrich Nortje finished with figures of 3-59 in four overs, while Sumit Kumar emerged as the most economical bowler in the innings, giving away just 19 runs in two overs.

Turning point of the match

It was Narine’s evening in Visakhapatnam and it was evident from as early as the fourth over of the match. The West Indian took a special liking to Ishant Sharma and smashed him for a six over long-off, a six over square leg, and a four to the third-man boundary to start off the fourth over.

Narine then swung wildly at the fourth delivery of the over and edged it behind to wicketkeeper Pant. Sharma wasn’t sure of an edge, neither was his captain. Mitchell Marsh begged his captain to go upstairs, but by the time Pant signalled to the umpire their allotted 15 seconds to take the review were gone.

The umpire struck down Pant’s request and Narine ended up hitting Sharma for a six and a four of the final two deliveries. The pacer ended up leaking 26 runs of the over.

Replays later on showed that Narine had indeed edged the ball and the Capitals missed out on a golden opportunity to send back the dangerman. The indecisiveness on the review ended up costing the Delhi Capitals 61 more runs and they never really recovered from the opener’s onslaught.

The Field's player of the match

There were multiple good individual performances on display during the clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Capitals, but none surpassed Narine’s explosive batting enroute his second consecutive half-century.

The 35-year-old from Trinidad showed no mercy to any bowler and by the time Marsh got the better of him for a 39-ball 85, the Knight Riders had already raced to 164 in less than 13 overs.

Narine later returned to torment the Capitals with the ball and finished with figures of 1-29 in his four overs. Thanks to his all-round display, Narine is The Field’s player of the match ahead of youngster Angrish Raghuvanshi, who scored a 27-ball 54 in his first outing with the bat in IPL.

‘Got to be down to earth’

The comprehensive win over the Capitals saw the Knight Riders climb to the top of the 2024 Indian Premier League points table after three matches. This is for the first time in IPL history that the Kolkata based franchise has won their opening three matches.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer was indeed chuffed with his side’s efforts so far in the post-match presentation but was also wary of not taking it too lightly.

“Sunny [Narine] is there to take on the bowlers and if he cannot, we have other batters. Raghuvanshi was fearless from ball one, he anaylses the situtation well and his work ethic is phenomenal. It is good to see the bowlers take up the responsibility and hunt as a unit. We have got three wins in three matches but you have got to be down to earth, especially in IPL”

— KKR captain Shreyas Iyer

Points Table after the match on April 3

Position Team Played Won Lost NRR Points
1 KKR 3 3 0 2.518 6
2 RR 3 3 0 1.249 6
3 CSK 3 2 1 0.976 4
4 LSG 3 2 1 0.483 4
5 GT 3 2 1 -0.738 4
6 SRH 3 1 2 0.204 2
7 PBKS 3 1 2 -0.337 2
8 RCB 4 1 3 -0.876 2
9 DC 4 1 3 -1.347 2
10 MI 3 0 3 -1.423 0