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The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) continued their winning run in the 11th edition of the tournament after beating the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on April 18 (Wednesday). Skipper Dinesh Karthik in the presentation ceremony said that it feels good to win a couple of matches on a trot.
It was a comprehensive performance by the two-time champions which helped them keep their winning run.
Some good bowling by the visitors restricted Rajasthan to a moderate total of 160 in their allotted 20 overs.
During the chase, Kolkata never looked in trouble barring the first wicket in the third delivery of the innings.
Yet again the captain winning the toss elected to field. This time it was Dinesh 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 the Rajasthan batsmen very well. Sunil 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.
Narine smashed five fours and a six during his knock of 35 of 25 balls. After the fall of Narine’s wicket, it was Rana and 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 ropes – to send him back to the pavilion. Karthik put the final nail in the coffin for Rajasthan with a quickfire knock of 42 of just 23 deliveries. It included a couple of fours and couple of sixes.
Rana also played a useful hand and remained unbeaten on 35 of 27 deliveries – to hand KKR a comfortable 7 wickets victory with 7 deliveries to spare.
Here is what winning skipper Dinesh Karthik said at the post-match presentation:
“Feels good to get two wins on the trot. Slowly things are going in a good direction. Just feel that the wrist-spinners are a little harder to pick. For the fast bowlers, it could come onto the bat. So it makes sense to go with spinners at the top. Spinners did a good job for us. The way Robin batted was fantastic. He set the tone for us,” Karthik said.
“Nitish [Rana] is getting used to that role where he’s coming not out which is good to see. Fielding could be better, death bowling could be better. If you want me to be harsh, even fast bowlers could be better. Consistency is something we’re looking at as a team. Rana is a good player,” he added.
“Last year he did well for MI. And now he’s come to KKR. He’s got a couple of rough ones, got a couple of good catches taken off him. His arm is slightly higher than Kedar Jadhav but he’s done a good job for us,” Karthik signed off.
Also read: IPL 2018, 15th Match, RR vs KKR- Kolkata Knight Riders Player Ratings