IPL 2024: Kuldeep Yadav bats to help DC recover against KKR | As it happened

Varun Chakravarthy struck thrice to reduce DC to 153/9

KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Nitish Rana celebrate the wicket of Delhi Capitals batter Tristan Stubbs | PTI

Varun Chakravarthy struck thrice in the middle overs to complement Vaibhav Arora's splendid start as Kolkata Knight Riders put up a much-improved bowling show to restrict Delhi Capitals to a modest 153/9 in the IPL here on Monday.

The returning Arora (2/29) gave KKR a fine start in the power play after Delhi opted to bat on a tacky wicket.

Introduced in the ninth over, Chakravarthy then spun a web as he bowled his four overs on the trot and snared the key wickets of Rishabh Pant (27; 20b), Tristan Stubbs (4; 7b) and impact sub Kumar Kushagra (1) during a match-turning spell of 3/16.

Harshit Rana also finished with two wickets, but Mitchell Starc continued to be their weak link in the bowling as the star Aussie pacer conceded 43 in his three overs at 14.30 runs per over.

Veteran Sunil Narine went about his task quietly to end with 1/24 while accounting for Axar Patel (15; 21b), as none of the DC batters could consolidate after a brisk start.

On a day their batters failed to capitalise, Kuldeep Yadav became Delhi's top-scorer and his 26-ball 35 not out against his former franchise was the reason they crossed the 150-mark.

KKR, in fact, would be disappointed for not being able to bowl out Delhi despite having them at 111/8 inside 15 overs, and Kuldeep's knock frustrated the home team.

For a change, there were no fireworks at a venue that has witnessed record runs being scored and innumerable sixes being hit.

This time the bowlers dominated the power play, reducing Delhi to 67/3 on a pitch that seemed to be two-paced as batters struggled to get their timing right.

Making a return after missing the last two matches, seamer Arora seized the early initiative, striking twice for KKR inside four overs.

First, Arora halted Prithvi Shaw's brisk start and dismissed him for 13. Then, he bowled a peach of a delivery that angled in before darting away after pitching to clean up Hope (6).

The Eden Gardens also missed a Jake Fraser-McGurk special with Starc taking the latest IPL sensation's wicket in the third over.

After smashing Starc for a six and four in successive deliveries, Fraser-McGurk wanted to clear the deep square leg, but mistimed and struck it straight to Venkatesh Iyer.

From Delhi's perspective, their run-rate was way above 11 and they needed someone to consolidate but KKR kept taking wickets.

Local player Abhishek Porel looked the most at ease, and took on Harshit Rana for successive 4-6-4 with exquisite timing and aggression.

But Rana had the last laugh, beating the Bengal wicketkeeper with pace.

Rishabh Pant got a reprieve on 18, when Rana dropped a sitter, but the Delhi skipper looked scratchy and was dismissed by Chakravarthy for a third time in the IPL.

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