Sakib in, Knight Riders winStaff Correspondent
At last the Indian Premier League provided some delight for the Bangladeshi fans as Sakib al Hasan got his place in the playing eleven of Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.
Millions of TV viewers from Bangladesh who had their eyes glued in the first two matches of KKR were disappointed as their premier star Sakib was overlooked.
KKR were forced to revise their strategy after two drubbing against Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals respectively that prompted call from many corners to pick Sakib.
They made four changes to their side against tournament’s one of the most favourites Bangalore and were finally rewarded with a massive 42-run to open their account.
Sakib was unable to make any contribution with the bat and also dropped a catch but came back strongly with the ball as he picked up the last Bangalore wicket to finish with 2-21 off three overs.
New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsmen Brendon McCullum and West Indian off spinner Sunil Narine were left out along with Indians Debabrata Das and Iqbal Abdullah to make room for Manvinder Bisla, Sakib, Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate and Laxmipathy Balaji respectively.
McCullum scored eleven runs in the first two matches while Narine who was surprisingly given the nod ahead of Sakib had an ordinary outing against Rajasthan.
Das made 18 and 12 respectively while left-arm spinner Abdullah went wicket less in the first two matches.
Coming in at number seven with KKR at 6-143 in 17.2 overs, Sakib was in a look out to increase the run rate, but fell to the hands of the long-off fielder off Vinay Kumar when he tried to heave over the extra cover.
KKR posted 165-8 and was led by Balaji (4-18) while they defended their modest total. Balaji could have had a five-for if Sakib had not dropped Saurabh Tiwary at deep square leg.
Sakib came in to bowl in the 16th over and gave away nine runs. He picked up his two wickets in his next two overs respectively.
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