Jos Buttler’s 103-run knock and Yuzvendra Chahal’s five-fer powered Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling seven-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Brabourne Stadium here. This is Rajasthan’s fourth win in six matches.
Chasing a mammoth target of 218, Kolkata Knight Riders did fight till the end and the match was decided in the last over. KKR got off to the worst possible start losing the wicket of opener Sunil Narine for a duck. He was sent packing by a direct hit by Shimron Hetmyer in the very first ball of the match. After that captain Shreyas Iyer and Aaron Finch got into a partnership and started hammering Rajasthan bowling attack taking the team’s total beyond the 50-run mark in 5.3 overs.
Finch notched up his half-century in just 25 balls taking KKR beyond the triple-figure mark in just 8.3 overs.
The 107-run partnership was finally broken as Prasidh Krishna dismissed Finch for 58 off 28 balls. Captain Shreyas too went on to score his fifty off just 32 balls.
Yuzvendra Chahal got his first wicket as he dismissed Nitish Rana for 18 from 11 balls. In the next over, Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed dangerous Andre Russell for a golden duck as KKR lost their fourth wicket for 149.
Venkatesh Iyer walked in to bat and along with Shreyas took the team’s total beyond the 150-run mark. Chahal got his second wicket as he dismissed Venkatesh out stumped by wicket-keeper captain Sanju Samson for 6 as KKR lost half of its side for 178. Two balls later, Chahal got the prized scalp of KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer getting him out leg before. In the next ball, he dismissed Shivam Mavi to be on a hat-trick and he finally dismissed Pat Cummins caught behind by Sanju Samson to get a hat-trick and his fourth wicket in the over and overall fifth of the match to reduce KKR to 180/8 in 17 overs.
The moment it seemed as Rajasthan will run through the KKR batting line-up Umesh Yadav hit Trent Boult to one boundary and two sixes in an over to take his team beyond the 200-run mark and keep them in the hunt.
With 11 runs needed in the last over, Obed McCoy dismissed Sheldon Jackson and Umesh to guide Rajasthan to a seven-run win – the team’s fourth of the season. This win has taken Rajasthan to the second spot in the points table.
Earlier in the day, in-form Rajasthan opener played a brilliant knock of 103 which was his second century of the Indian Premier League 2022. Buttler’s innings was well accompanied by knocks from Devdutt Padikkal (24) and skipper Sanju Samson (38) as RR reached the highest team score in this edition of IPL.
Sunil Narine, who was appearing for the 150th time in KKR colours was the only bowler who kept it tight as he scalped two wickets and in-process, giving 21 runs.
Put in to bat first, Rajasthan enjoyed a great start as their openers Jos Buttler and Shivam Mavi amassed 60 runs in the first powerplay. In the 7th over, the orange cap holder Englishman brought up his 50 in just 29 deliveries.
In the 10th over, Sunil Narine gave the team their first breakthrough as he removed Devdutt Padikkal (24) who had earlier smashed the West Indian for a six in the same over. Narine bowled a short of good length ball as the Indian attempted to pull early and missed the ball. The ball did its job as it struck the off stump and Narine brought an end to a 97-run opening stand.
Skipper Sanju Samson then joined the Buttler on the crease and the duo continued with the hammering of KKR bowlers. The pair clocked runs at a rapid pace as Rajasthan reached 150 runs in the 15th over. In the next over, Andre Russell dismissed Sanju Samson to bring an end to a pacy 67-run stand. RR skipper walked back with a well-made 38 off 19.
Buttler brought up his classy century in the 17th over off Pat Cummins. In the same over, the Aussie pacer removed the centurion. In the next over the combined effort of Pat Cummins and Shivam Mavi helped KKR in removing Riyan Parag off Sunil Narine’s bowling. Parag elevated the ball straight towards long-off to which Pat Cummins pulled off an amazing catch and handed it over to Mavi the moment he was about to touch the ropes.
KKR bowlers did well in the slog overs. Shivam Mavi removed Karun Nair in the penultimate over before Shimron Hetmyer smashed 18 runs in the last over of compatriot Andre Russell.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 217/5 (Jos Buttler 103, Sanju Samson 38; Sunil Narine 2-21) vs Kolkata Knight Riders 210/10 in 19.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 85, Aaron Finch 58; Yuzvendra Chahal 5/40).