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Varun Chakaravarthy of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer of Delhi Capitals during match 42 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Capitals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Saturday (ANI)
Varun Chakaravarthy of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer of Delhi Capitals during match 42 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Capitals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Saturday (ANI)

IPL 2020: Varun Chakravarthy's five-for against DC keeps KKR in play-off race

Earlier, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine played knocks of 81 and 64 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders posted a total of 194/6 in the allotted twenty overs

Spinner Varun Chakravarthy claimed this Indian Premier League season's first five-wicket haul as Kolkata Knight Riders gave their play-off hopes a boost with a 59-run win over Delhi Capitals on Saturday.

Chakravarthy returned impressive figures of 5-20 from his four overs to help Eoin Morgan's KKR restrict Delhi to 135 for nine in their chase of 195 in Abu Dhabi.

Nitish Rana, who top-scored with 81, and returning all-rounder Sunil Narine, who hit a 32-ball 64, put on a key 115-run fourth-wicket stand to guide Kolkata to 194 for six after being put in to bat first.

Morgan was all praise for Narine, who played his first game after being cleared of having a suspect bowling action.

It was his team's sixth win in 11 games to stay fourth in the eight-team table.

"Great of Sunil to come back and play as a proper all-rounder. And Nitish Rana and him adding all the runs," said Morgan.

"The decision to bat Narine there (at number five) is all the coach (Brendon McCullum). He likes to play his cards. It is all Brendon."

On Chakravarthy's mystery spin, Morgan told reporters: "He has been one of the positive stories out of our campaign so far.

"Up until today we felt we haven't played our best cricket but today I think we were close to that."

The 29-year-old Chakravarthy ran through high-flying Delhi, who stay on 14 points, behind table-toppers Mumbai Indians on net run-rate, despite a threatening 63-run partnership between skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.

Chakravarthy broke the stand with the wicket of Pant, for 27, in his first over and then struck twice in successive deliveries to send back Shimron Hetmyer and Iyer, for 47, to dent Delhi's chase.

"This is surreal. The last few games I didn't get wickets. I wanted to get one or two today, but thank god I got five. I enjoyed Shreyas Iyer's wicket the most. I was bowling to the shorter boundary so I had to attack the stumps," Chakravarthy told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.

"I want to thank my mother and father and fiancee Neha. And all my physios. Around 2015 when I was not making much money as an architect, I thought I will try something else when I wasn't able to meet my needs," he added.

Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer said that they were outplayed by opponents in every department at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

"Looking at the start, we should have put a lot of pressure on them and gone for wickets. But the way they batted, especially how Sunil Narine went after us. We could have executed the plans better. I think they chose the bowlers to go after really well. They were really good in shot selection. They outplayed us in pretty much every department," Iyer told the host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.

Iyer further said that the team's approach while chasing the total was more of a 'survival' mindset and added that they have to play with 'freedom'.

"Kudos to their approach and mindset. You need an amazing start when chasing 190. Losing two wickets in the Powerplay puts a lot of pressure on the others. We need to play with freedom and not have a survival mindset. Obviously, we are disappointed with the loss, but I am glad it is happening at this point in time. There are a lot of learnings from this game," Delhi Capitals skipper said.

Kolkata's pace spearhead Pat Cummins dismissed Ajinkya Rahane with the first ball of the innings.

Cummins -- the most expensive foreign player for the 2020 season with a $2.17 million fee -- returned figures of 3-17.

It was an impressive bounce-back victory for KKR, after struggling to 84-8 in an eight-wicket thrashing by Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

Narine bowled four overs after being taken off the warning list for suspect bowlers following his action being reported in a game on October 10. He conceded 37 runs without taking a wicket.


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