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Impressive-looking Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bagged their second consecutive win in the tournament as they defeated hosts Rajasthan Royals (RR) at their own fortress at Jaipur on Wednesday night (April 18).
Ajinkya Rahane‘s men fell short of the firepower against the KKR squad as the likes of Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, and Nitish Rana, all helped their side chase down a par score of 160 on a decent-looking surface.
Here are the five game-changing moments from the match:
Nitish Rana Gamble 2.0:
The masterstroke of bringing in Nitish Rana helped to dismiss two key batsmen in the game against RCB. Just when Rahane was looking to fire at all cylinders after the initial lull, Karthik brought Rana into the attack.
The move paid instant dividends as Rahane was stumped in the very first over he bowled.
Later on, he came back to pick another key wicket of a struggling D’Arcy Short, to end up with figures of two for 11.
Rajasthan batting struggling with the surface:
The big guns of Royals batting featuring Short, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes struggled to cash in with boundaries on the low-bounce pitch at Sawai Mansingh Stadium at Jaipur. Short, at one point in time, was batting at 18 off 28 balls.
Stokes, apart from the solitary six, struggled to middle the ball over the ropes.
Buttler’s final impetus helped Rajasthan Royal reach a total of 160.
Further, the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson were not able to provide a convincing platform for the lower-order.
Defending a par total, Ajinkya Rahane‘s side had to clinch early wickets to make inroads into the game.
Krishnappa Gowtham provided a dismissal in the very first over to give the perfect start to the hosts.
However, Rahane, confused his bowlers with changes in the field with every bowl bowled. This leaked some runs and also gave a start to the visitors following Uthappa-Narine onslaught.
KKR was put into pressure early on, in a tricky chase, with the wicket of Chris Lynn. However, while Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa were batting, it looked an entirely different surface as they smashed boundaries after boundaries.
Narine creamed a 25-ball 35 before being run out by Uthappa who scored a breathtaking 48 off just 35 balls.
DK-Rana finishing partnership:
With the wickets of Uthappa and Narine, Rahane and company hoped to make inroads into the lower order of KKR, in order to remain alive in the match.
However, Rana, after his brilliant performance with the ball, finished it off for his side with his 35 off 25 balls and also claiming his second consecutive Man of the Match award.
He was ably supported by captain Dinesh Karthik at the other end, who ensured that there wasn’t any room for a Royal comeback in the match with his 42 off 23 balls.