Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player Ambati Rayudu drew first blood against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when he ran out Shubman Gill with a brilliant direct hit. The two sides are facing off in Abu Dhabi in the first game of the double-header on Sunday.
On another sunny afternoon, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan opted to bat first, straying from the norm of teams preferring to chase in the UAE. There was only one change in the CSK side with Dwayne Bravo being rested for the match. Kolkata on the other hand made no changes from their XI that won against MI on Thursday.
The in-form opening duo of Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer walked out to the middle. Their intent has been key in the change of fortunes for the KKR side. They started on similar lines in the first over, with Gill leading the charge.
He danced down to Deepak Chahar’s third delivery and smashed it back past the bowler. Gill followed it up with a wonderful cover drive, making his intentions clear. On the next ball, he was adjudged LBW by the umpire but had the decision reversed successfully.
His stay at the crease ended the very next ball, however, as Rayudu at mid-wicket produced a brilliant bit of fielding. Gill tapped the ball towards the leg side and set off for a non-existent run. Iyer at the other end wasn’t interested and sent him back.
Gill was too far down the crease and his only hope to survive was Rayudu missing the stumps. The 36-year-old hit the bullseye with just one stump to aim at and broke the partnership that has worked very well for KKR in the second leg.