Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) made a stunning comeback on Thursday night at the iconic Eden Gardens, securing an 81-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). With co-owner Shah Rukh Khan in attendance, KKR displayed a remarkable performance despite initial setbacks.
Shardul Thakur (68), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (57), and Rinku Singh (46) were instrumental in helping KKR set a solid target of 204/7 in 20 overs. Thakur’s heroics at the crease were particularly noteworthy, as he entered the game after KKR had lost half their batters on 89. Undaunted, he hammered nine fours and three sixes, scoring a spectacular 68 off just 29 balls. The all-rounder received a standing ovation from Shah Rukh Khan upon his departure in the final over.
RCB’s chase was stifled by KKR’s spinners, who claimed nine wickets in total. The young and relatively unknown spinner, Suyash Sharma, made a significant impact, taking three crucial wickets. Varun Chakravarthy (4/15) and Sunil Narine (2/16) also had impressive outings, dismantling the Royal Challengers’ batting lineup and restricting them to just 123 runs.
After the game, Shah Rukh Khan took to the field to congratulate the KKR players and participate in the dressing room celebrations. In a light-hearted moment, he asked Rinku Singh to lead the team chant, resulting in a hilarious exchange that left everyone, including SRK, in stitches.
The victory comes as a relief for KKR, who had a disappointing start to their campaign with a narrow loss to Punjab Kings last week. In that match, KKR was chasing 192 when rain interrupted play, and they eventually fell short by just seven runs according to the DLS method.
Now rejuvenated, KKR will face the table-topping Gujarat Titans on April 9, hoping to maintain their winning momentum and continue climbing the standings.