It was a sensational performance by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) which helped them to secure two consecutive victories. They defeated hosts Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday night courtesy a superb all-round performance.
Barring the wicket of Chris Lynn in the opening over, KKR was hardly perturbed. Robin Uthappa and Sunil Narine started the resurrecting job and in the end, it was skipper Dinesh Karthik who finished off the job for the visitors.
Uthappa missed a well-deserved half-century by a whisker while Karthik remained unbeaten on 42 off 23 deliveries which included a couple of fours and sixes each.
Yet again the captain winning the toss elected to field. This time it was Karthik and he put the hosts in.
Ajinkya Rahane began on a positive note and started smashing the KKR bowlers all around the park. Rahane scored 19-ball 38 but his partner D’ Arcy Short found it difficult to get going.
The KKR bowlers came back strongly in the middle overs and restricted Rajasthan’s batsmen very well. Narine went for a bit of tap and ended up conceding 48 runs in his four-over spell.
It was a brilliant spell by part-timer Nitish Rana which brought KKR back into the match. He bagged a couple of wickets for just 11 runs in a couple of overs.
Rajasthan eventually managed to reach 160 in their allotted 20 overs. Kolkata began in the worst possible manner and lost opener Chris Lynn returned to the hut after facing third delivery of the second innings.
However, Narine started the resurrecting job and stitched together a 69-run partnership in quick time with Robin Uthappa.
The left-handed pinch-hitter Narine smashed five fours and a six during his knock of 35 off 25 balls. After the fall of Narine’s wicket, it was Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa, who made sure that KKR were well on course for a victory.
Uthappa smashed a brilliant 48 before Ben Stokes took a brilliant catch at the boundary line to send him back to the pavilion.
Karthik hammered the final nail in the coffin for Rajasthan. Rana also played a useful hand and remained unbeaten on 35 of 27 deliveries to hand KKR a comfortable seven-wicket victory with seven deliveries to spare.
Kolkata Knight Riders 163/3 in 18.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 48, Dinesh Karthik 42*, Krishnappa Gowtham 2/23)