Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti injured as IPL fast-bowling reserves plummet

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India's U19 World Cup star Nagarkoti has been ruled out of IPL 2018. Image: KKR/Twitter.

India’s Under-19 fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti was ruled out of the IPL following a foot injury. The Kolkata Knight Riders bowler had picked up the niggle before the start of the tournament and was being monitored by the Knight Riders.

They had a replacement ready in the form of Karnataka fast bowler Prasidh Krishna in case Nagarkoti’s injury turned out be serious. On Saturday, it was confirmed Nagarkoti will miss the IPL, which is a big blow to the star bowler of India’s victorious U-19 World Cup campaign.

Nagarkoti made waves after being consistently clocked at over 145kph during the tournament. The IPL was his big opportunity to grab the attention of senior team selectors but that won’t happen now.

The 18-year-old has joined a long list of genuine fast bowlers who are not taking part in the 11th edition of the IPL.

MITCHELL STARC (LEG)

The Kolkata Knight Riders quick was supposed to be the leader of the pack as the Eden Gardens has become conducive to pace bowling. But the Aussie quick pulled out of the tournament due to a stress fracture in his right leg.

PAT CUMMINS (BACK)

The Aussie quick seemed to have put his injury scares behind him by playing 13 consecutive Tests. Bowling at his absolute best, Cummins was set for a bumper IPL for Mumbai Indians but swelling in his vertebrae ended his IPL dreams.

KAGISO RABADA (BACK)

The South African quick was another pacer expected to set the stage on fire in IPL 2018. But the Delhi Daredevils never arrived, pulling out of the tournament due to a ‘lower back stress reaction’.

NATHAN COULTER-NILE (BACK)

The Aussie quick, picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore, failed to recover from a stress fracture to his back and hasn’t played any competitive cricket since November.

LUNGI NGIDI (BEREAVEMENT)

The South Africa pacer, playing for Chennai Super Kings, left the country on Saturday following the death of his father. Ngidi’s father Jerome had watched his son make waves in the Tests against India and Australia.

JASON BEHRENDORFF (BACK)

Mumbai Indians had put a lot of faith in the Australian pacer but Behrendorff failed to recover from a serious back injury and was ruled out of IPL 2018.

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IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils opener Jason Roy hits 91 as Mumbai Indians lose another final-over thriller

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Roy hit an unbeaten 91 for the Daredevils. Image: BCCI

Delhi Daredevils opener Jason Roy made a blistering start to his 2018 IPL campaign by hitting an unbeaten 91 on Saturday as Mumbai Indians once against lost a last-over thriller, this time by seven wickets with no balls to spare.

The Mumbai Indians hit top gear in the powerplay batting first, racing to 100 without loss in the ninth over. But the Daredevils hit back at the death, taking five wickets in the last five overs for just 36 runs as the hosts posted 194-7.

In reply, Englishman Roy took it upon himself to get the job done as he scored almost half of the team’s runs. His 53-ball knock included six hits to the fence and as many over it and despite facing three dot balls in a tense final over bowled by Mustafizur Rahman, Roy took Delhi past the finish line.

It was the third straight defeat in the final over for defending champions Mumbai. They lost the first two matches of the campaign by one wicket – with one and zero balls to spare – and on Saturday they lost the match off the final ball.

BLISTERING START

It was a new opening combination for Mumbai Indians with captain Rohit Sharma moving to the middle order. Evin Lewis (48 off 28 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (53 off 32 balls) added 102 inside nine overs for the opening wicket. Both looked equally at ease against spin and pace on a true Wankhede wicket. They were also helped by the fact that the Daredevils bowling attack only had two prominent names in Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami.

DELHI PULL THINGS BACK

At 158-2 after 15 overs and with captain Rohit at the crease, a total of 200 seemed to be there for the taking. However, Daredevils pacer Dan Christian took the wickets of Ishan Kishan (44) and Kieron Pollard (0) off successive balls to stem the run flow. In the last 27 balls of the innings, Mumbai made just 28 runs and lost five wickets.

JASON TEES OFF

With Colin Munro struggling, the Daredevils went for Roy and the Englishman took the Wankhede by storm. While fellow opener and captain Gautam Gambhir moved along at barely run a ball, Roy went after Mumbai bowlers. He targeted seam and spin with equal disdain during his 91, ensuring he will be the first name to be picked in the Delhi squad from here on.

Roy was matched shot for shot by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (47 off 25 balls) who played an authoritative innings, something he hasn’t managed regularly for some time.

ROY FINISHES THE GAME

Mumbai Indians, as has become the norm, fought back and took the game to the final over. Two fine catches in the deep – Pollard off Krunal Pandya at long off to dismiss Pant and Hardik Pandya off Krunal at extra cover to see the back of Glenn Maxwell (13) – put the pressure back on Daredevils.

Shreyas Iyer (27 off 20 balls) kept the tempo up after being helped by two dropped catches by Rahman at short third man in the 17th over. But a fine penultimate over by Jasprit Bumrah – where he gave away just five runs – meant Delhi needed 11 from the final over by Rahman.

Roy hit the first two balls for a four and a six but the Bangladesh seamer fought back by bowling three consecutive off cutters that beat the bat. With one needed off the last ball, Roy finally connected and the ball sailed over the infield as the Daredevils scampered home to victory.

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IPL 2018 Preview: No rest for Sunrisers Hyderabad as Kolkata Knight Riders test awaits

Ashish Peter 14/04/2018
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Sunrisers Hyderabad are back on the road. Image - SH/Twitter.

After falling to defeat despite scoring 202 in Chennai Super Kings’ homecoming, Kolkata Knight Riders will banking on the comforts of home themselves when they host Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens on Saturday (18:30).

Having swept aside Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue in their IPL opener, Dinesh Karthik and his men will have their task cut out against Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers who have won both their fixtures so far.

TALKING POINTS

NO TIME FOR REST IN THE IPL

On Thursday evening, the Sunrisers beat Mumbai Indians in a nail-biter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. Less than 48 hours later, they will be playing at Eden Gardens in Kolkata as the matches keep coming thick and fast in the IPL.

This could put a question mark over the availability of their bowling spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had to miss Thursday’s clash against the Indians due to a sore back.

One the other hand, the Knight Riders’ last match was on Tuesday, providing them ample time to prepare for the clash.

SUNRISERS’ STRONG BOWLING

While the contrast between their two wins so far has been stark, there is one common theme to Sunrisers’ perfect start to the IPL. The bowling attack at Williamson’s disposal seems head and shoulders above those of the remaining sides.

Despite Bhuvneshwar’s absence on Friday, youngster Sandeep Sharma filled in seamlessly as the hosts restricted Mumbai to just 148 in their 20 overs.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has simply been a class act with the ball while Siddharth Kaul has been a revelation in the pace department. Add in Bangladesh ace Shakib Al Hasan and Aussie express pacer Billy Stanlake into mix and you have one of the most complete bowling units you will ever find.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

While Kolkata have some excellent spinners in their ranks in the form of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla, they seem to be a bit light in the pace department. Vinay Kumar was taken for 35 runs in just 11 deliveries in the defeat to Chennai and his poor showing could open the doors for either of India’s U19 World Cup winning pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi.

Also in focus will be their opener Chris Lynn who has not yet fired in the two matches so far. The Australian left-hander is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the T20 game and if he gets into his zone, it will be difficult for even Hyderabad’s famed bowling attack to rein him in.

For Hyderabad, Shikhar Dhawan is looking in ominous form after two sparkling knocks and the tone he sets at the top could very well define Sunrisers’ innings.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C, wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake.

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