Kolkata Knight Riders have roped in Australian pacer Matt Kelly as a replacement for South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje for the 2019 Indian Premier League. In a statement released by the Indian Premier League, the franchise announced, “Kelly has played in 16 First-Class matches, five List A games and 12 T20s so far and has not featured in past editions of the Indian Premier League.” Nortje, who was purchased at his base price of Rs 20 lakh, was ruled out for the entire tournament after suffering a shoulder injury. Kolkata Knight Riders have had issues in the bowling department due to injuries, with Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi being ruled out of the whole tournament due to injuries.
Kelly has made a decent impact in the Australian domestic circuit. The 24-year-old right-arm pacer, who plays for Western Australia made his First-Class debut in 2017 and has since picked up 54 wickets at an average of25.66. His best moment for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield tournament came in the clash against South Australia at Perth. His 6/67 helped his side beat South Australia by six wickets as they continued their strong showing in the competition.
In the Big Bash League 2018/19, playing for the Perth Scorchers, Kelly had decent returns by taking 11 wickets in seven games at an economy rate of 7.74 but the side ended up at the bottom of the table.
Kolkata Knight Riders will next take on Delhi Capitals at the Eden Gardens. In the previous encounter between the two sides, Prithvi Shaw’s 99 and Andre Russell’s 62 off 28 balls produced an enthralling match as the game went into the super over. Kagiso Rabada held his nerve and produced a brilliant display of bowling as Delhi Capitals won the match in the super over by three runs. Dinesh Karthik’s side is currently second in the points table behind Chennai Super Kings.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ previous match saw them losing a low-scoring game on a tough wicket in Chepauk and they will be determined to get back to winning ways in their clash against Delhi Capitals.