Resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs as the team from the city of joy registered their first win in the ongoing competition. Rajasthan Royals had come to this encounter by winning both their matches in the competition and securing the top position in the points table. As for the KKR, they were placed at the second from the bottom in the points table before today’s match.
Batting first, Kolkata Knight Riders had scored 174-6 in their quota of 20 overs. Opener Shubman Gill was the top-scorer with 47 runs that included five fours and one six. Eoin Morgan made 34 in 23 balls that helped the KKR to amass a decent total against Rajasthan Royals.
Jofra Archer was the most successful bowler for Rajasthan Royals as he finished 2-18 in four overs.
Steve Smith’s team made a disastrous start while chasing the KKR’s total. They lost their first five wickets for just 42 in 7.2 overs. Even their wonder boy, Sanju Samson, got out cheaply for 8, unable to replicate his batting display of the first two matches. Rahul Tewatia, who had single-handedly pulled off a miraculous win against Kings XI Punjab in the last match, departed by scoring just 14 runs. He was clean bowled by Varun Chakravarthy when the RR’s total was 66.
Tom Curran was the most successful batsman for the RR as he remained unbeaten at 54 in 36 balls.
Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy and Kamlesh Nagarkoti picked up two wickets each for the KKR, while Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Pat Cummins scalped one wicket each.
Shivam Mavi was declared Man Of The Match for his splendid bowling and impressive fielding.
Reacting to his team’s loss, Smith said, “Didn’t quite go to plan, but that happens in T20 cricket sometimes. I think the decision at the toss could go one way or another. We lost too many wickets up front, a few of us probably thought we’re still playing at Sharjah! The far side is a very big side, we didn’t see too many balls go up above that fence there. We probably didn’t adapt as well as we could have to the wicket and the dimensions. We’ll wait and see about switching the XI around. Wasn’t much of a battle with Cummins! Just spoke to him and he said you normally smack those in the nets. Got a good one tonight!”
Karthik, for his part, said, “I wouldn’t call it perfect. There was a lot of areas we could improve. It was a good game. A lot of things pleased me – the way Gill started, the way Russell started, the way Morgan kept his head. The beautiful sight of the youngsters going for the catch no matter high it is. I think Archer bowled some good areas. Couple of guys made the pitch look better than it was. It’s a very special thing – these boys, the journey they’ve gone through when not playing, and for them to just come out and express themselves with the ball and ball was incredible. We would have batted first, that was our plan. To put runs on the board was what we thought was the way forward on this ground.”
The KKR has moved up to second in the points table after today’s comprehensive win.