Indian Premier League

Rana's explosive 80 helps Kolkata to century of IPL wins

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Nitish Rana (AFP)
Nitish Rana (AFP)

Opener Nitish Rana, who recently recovered from coronavirus, hit an explosive 80 as Kolkata Knight Riders recorded their 100th win in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata defended their total of 187 for six against David Warner's Sunrisers Hyderabad to win by 10 runs in Chennai.

The 14th edition of the IPL, which was last year held in the United Arab Emirates, is being played behind closed doors with India witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Rana tested positive for the virus last month ahead of the Twenty20 tournament but remained asymptomatic and joined the team well before their opener.

Morgan said Rana was happy after getting out of quarantine and seemed to be in pretty good nick.

"He was delighted to be out of quarantine and have negative tests," Morgan told reporters.

"His game was in really good touch and we witnessed that today on a wicket that probably wasn't as good as he made it look to bat on and moreover we are delighted for him."

Rana, a left-hand batsman, put on key partnerships including a blazing second-wicket stand of 93 with Rahul Tripathi, who smashed 53, after being put into bat first.

Kolkata, led by pace bowler Prasidh Krishna, limited Hyderabad to 177-5 despite a quickfire 55 from England's Jonny Bairstow and an unbeaten 61 by Manish Pandey.

Rana remained the evening's hero with his 56-ball knock laced with nine fours and four sixes.

Morgan was out for two as Kolkata suffered a middle-order stutter but former Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik hit an unbeaten nine-ball 22 to boost the team's total.

"Tripathi today at three played beautifully. The middle order that we have is extremely versatile," said Morgan.

"When Dinesh plays like that or Andre (Russell) plays the way he can play, it's obviously a very destructive batting unit that has potential to win you matches."

Rajasthan Royals take on Punjab Kings in Mumbai on Monday.

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