Knights Halt Royals March
Steve Smith put in KKR to bat after winning the toss, high on confidence after a miraculous run chase in their previous game. RR bowlers started of very well, especially Archer, who was straight away on the money in terms of line, length and searing pace, consistently hitting the 150 KMPH mark right from the outset. Both Narine and Gill struggled to get the ball of the square.Narine departed in the 5th over to Unandkat, after scoring 15 of 14 balls.Rana and Gill formed a decent partnership for the third wicket scoring 46 runs together, until last match Hero Rahul Tewatia removed Rana for 22 on the last ball of the 10th over.
KKR made an inspired change by sending in Adre Russel at no 4, but before he could really tee off, Archer struck back to back blows by removing well set Gill for 47 (34) and the KKR skipper cheaply for just a solitary run. Russel did show promise by hitting 3 massive sixes, but soon fell to Ankit Rajpoot for 24 runs of 14 balls, leaving Morgan to do the finishing duties, which he did decently well taking KKR to a total of 174 for 6 with help of small contributions from Cummins and Nagarkoti. Morgan ended up not out on 34 from 23 balls that consisted of 2 sixes and one four, to finish with a par score for Rajasthan to chase.
Narine again took on the opening duties for KKR, this time with the ball as he bowled to Buttler and Smith to begin RR’s chase, a chase that never took off. RR looked like a completely lack lustre batting team and the previous game heroics seemed like a distant memory. Smith, Samson, Uthappa, Parag, Archer and Gopal all fell for a single digit scores against some disciplined KKR bowling and poor shot selection. Buttler did show some promise and gave a hope of reviving the RR Innings, but it soon faded away as he was scalped by Mavi for 21 of 16 balls.
The young Indian bowling contingent of KKR, consisting of Mavi, Nagarkoti and Chakravarthy, bowled brilliantly and each of them bagged a 2 wicket hall, to take the match away from Rajasthan.
The top order failed miserably for Rajasthan and this was evident from the fact that the highest contribution came from Tom Curran batting at number 7. He scored a well compiled half century with some lusty blows and remained not out in the end to score a 36 ball 54, comprising of 2 fours and 3 sixes.
RR ended with 137 for 9 from their allocated 20 overs giving KKR a 37 run victory, and healthy Net Run Rate edge. Shivan Mavi was adjudged the man of the match for his figure of 2 for 20 from his 4 overs. With this win KKR moved to the second place in the points table with 2 wins out of three and Rajasthan suffering their first loss, making sure that all the teams have now lost at least one game each.
Srikanth N is an MBA graduate from IIM Visakhapatnam .He is a die hard fan of Formula 1, and other motor sports.Big Lewis fan, and waiting to see him surpass Schumacher’s records.He also likes to analyse and critique F1 and F2 race weekends