Image Credit: IPL
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan has expressed concern about the "unfolding" situation outside the IPL's bio-secure bubble in India, where COVID-19 cases are exploding to new heights every day. Morgan, while talking to the press after the match, said they are lucky to be in the bubble and not being affected by the pandemic. However, the 2019 World Cup-winning captain called upon people to "fight this together" and urged everyone to follow health and safety protocols put in place to prevent the virus from spreading further.
"We are constantly talking about the situation that's unfolding outside of our bubble, it's not nice, to be honest. Certainly considering how lucky we are to be in the bubble and not being affected by it very much. We lend our support and heartfelt gratitude to everybody who is ill or going through tough times. We fight this together no matter where in the world you are. So, things like social distancing, mask, and genuinely trying to stay safe as you can are very important messages to portray," Morgan said in the post-match press conference.
India is currently in a dire situation as COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the past couple of weeks, touching new records every day. India registered more than 3,20,000 fresh infections and over 2,700 deaths in the last 24 hours. The country has been recording more than 3 lakh cases for the past six days, which is way more than what it suffered during the first wave of the pandemic in September-October last year. All the vaccination success that India has had in the past couple of months has been washed away by the recent surge in cases and mortality rate.
As far as yesterday's match is concerned, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a comfortable victory over KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings (PBKS) as the change in venue brought new fortunes for Morgan and his men. KKR won the match by 5 wickets and 20 balls to spare. After winning the toss in Ahmedabad, Morgan decided to bowl as he summoned KL Rahul and his men to take the crease first. Punjab lost early wickets in the form of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, and Deepak Hooda, who were bamboozled by KKR bowlers in three consecutive overs. Mayank Agarwal tried to anchor the inning but was dismissed by Sunil Narine for 31 off 34 balls.
Nicholas Pooran was looking good but was sent back to the pavilion by KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Chris Jordan scored some runs at the end as he smashed 30 off just 18 balls. However, with 123 on the board in 20 overs, Punjab Kings were out to defend an easily chasable total. The Kings scalped some early wickets as openers Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill were sent back with the first two overs of the inning. Sunil Narine, who was promoted up the order, also lost his wicket in the third over of the game. Rahul Tripathi and skipper Eoin Morgan forged an important partnership to take KKR close to the finish line. Tripathi scored 41 off 32 balls before he was dismissed by Hooda in the 11th over. Morgan took it upon himself and finished the game as he remained unbeaten at 40-ball 47.
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