The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowlers together on Tuesday put up a brilliant display and helped their team in defeating Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs on Wednesday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Batting first, KKR poster 174/6 in 20 overs before the bowlers restricted Rajasthan to 137/9. It was KKR’s second win on the trot, while the Royals lost their first match in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
It was not an individual brilliance that saw KKR coming on top but collective efforts from Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Varun Chakravarthy as they scalped two wickets each. They received good support from Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, and KuldeepYadav, who all settled with a wicket each.
Put into bat by RR, KKR scored 174 for six wickets in 20 overs and while Steve Smith’s Rajasthan team made 137/9 wickets in 20 overs.
Chasing the target, half of the RR side was back to the pavilion with just 42 runs on board. The RR side suffered a top-order collapse as all their in-form batters — Smith (3), Sanju Samson (8), Jos Buttler (21), Robin Uthappa (2), and Riyan Parag (1) — fell cheaply.
Moreover, RR’s young batting sensation Rahul Tewatia, who was one of the architects of their previous win, failed to replicate the show as he fell for 14. That left RR reeling at 66/6.
Curran tried his best to avoid a humiliating defeat with some fireworks down the order, but lack of support from the other end couldn’t help RR cross the line.
Shreyas Gopal (5), Jofra Archer (6) and Jaydev Unadkat (9), too, couldn’t do much while Ankit Rajpoot remained unbeaten on seven runs as RR went down by 37 runs. Curran’s fighting innings was laced with two boundaries and three sixes.
Earlier, KKR openers Subhman Gill (47) and Sunil Narine (15) started the proceedings cautiously. However, the partnership couldn’t last long as Jaydev Unadkat trapped the latter in the fifth over with the scorecard reading 36/1.
Gill and next batsman Nitish Rana (22) then forged a 46-run stand, taking their side past the 50-run mark in 6.5 overs. However, Rahul Tewatia cut short Rana’s stay after dismissing him in the 10th over.
The RR bowlers further jolted KKR, who lost the wickets of Gill, Dinesh Karthik (1) and Andre Russell (24) with the addition of 33 runs as the two-time IPL champions were reduced to 115/5 in 14.2 overs.
While Jofra Archer accounted for the wicket of a well-settled Gill and KKR skipper Karthik, Russell became a victim of Ankit Rajpoot. Gill’s knock contained five boundaries a six.
Russell was caught at deep backward point as a miscued shot from him failed to clear the fence.
Eoin Morgan (34 not out) and Pat Cummins (12) were then involved in a 34-run stand for the sixth wicket before Tom Curran sent back the latter in the 18th over. Curran leaked 16 runs off the final over as KKR managed to reach a respectable total of 174/6.
Brief scores: KKR 174/6 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 47, Eoin Morgan 34 not out; Jofra Archer 2/18) beat RR 137/9 in 20 overs (Tom Curran 54 not out, Jos Buttler 21; Kamlesh Nagarkoti 2/13) by 37 runs
With IANS inputs