Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling department took control of the situation at the right moment as they restricted a raging Rajasthan Royals (RR) to a mere 137 while scripting a 37-run triumph to their name. With the second win under their belt, the Dinesh Karthik-captained unit is now second in the points table with 4 points and an NRR of +0.117, with Rajasthan Royals occupying a spot just below with the same points but an NRR of -0.219.
Chasing 175 against KKR, who had the likes of Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, and Varun Chakravarthy in the bowling attack was in no manner an easy task for the Steven Smith-led Rajasthan Royals.
Create your own fantasy team now on the MPL Fantasy cricket app
Other than English all-rounder Tom Curran, who top-socred with 54* off 36 deliveries with 2 fours and 3 sixes, no other batsman could cross the 25-run mark in the individual tally. Jos Buttler was the second in terms of runs scored in the concluded game against KKR, while Sanju Samson (8), Steve Smith (3), Robin Uthappa (2), and Riyan Parag (1) were dismissed quite cheaply in the competition.
Pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi played a major role in bundling out the top and middle-order and ended the day with figures of 2/13 and 2/20 respectively. Not to forget Pat Cumins as he kept the batsmen under pressure in the three overs that he bowled and conceded just 13 runs and scalped a wicket.
Rahul Tewatia, who was the game-changer in the Royals’ last outing versus Kings XI Punjab, could add merely 14-runs to the total before being dismissed by spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who then got the better of Jofra Archer and grabbed figures of 4-0-25-2.
Sunil Narine (1/40) was expensive among the lot, while fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav was brought into the action in the later stages of the game but managed to scalp a wicket to his name.
Shubhman Gill gives the much-needed start to KKR
Earlier in the day, Kolkata Knight Riders, after a slow start to the innings, managed to post 174 runs to the scorecard.
Once again, opener Shubman Gill (47, 36b) was the standout performer for the Men in Purple and Gold, as he held the nerves after Narine (15) was caught and bowled by Jofra Archer in the fifth over.
Gill, along with southpaw Nitish Rana, then added 46 runs to the total while maintaining a healthy scoring rate, with boundaries coming off at regular intervals and the score at the end of 9th over being 76 at the loss of one wicket.
It was then Royals’ skipper Steve Smith roped in Rahul Tewatia for his spin services, who then got the wood on Nitish Rana (22, 17b) while he attempted to loft a drive onto the off side.
Also Read – 5 Reasons why CSK can win IPL 2020
Before Gill could establish a concrete foundation with the Caribbean muscle Andre Russell, he was struck by Jofra Archer, at a time when he looked completely in control and was steering his way to the 3rd fifty of the season.
Russell then took on Shreyas Gopal’s final over and whacked him for two gigantic sixes to ensure the spinner ends with figures of 4-0-43-0. However, wickets kept falling at the other end as KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik got dismissed to Archer’s angled coming in delivery.
Also Read – Players who can win Purple Cap in UAE
Russell was sent back to the pavilion in the next over while hitting an outside off-stump delivery to deep backward point only to get caught by Unadkat. There was a slight chance for KKR to get to a competitive total as the score was 120 at the end of 15th over.
Finally, it was Eoin Morgan who then took on the ante and played a quickfire knock of 34 in 23 deliveries, adding 34 runs with Pat Cummins for the 6th wicket, followed by a 25* run stand with Kamlesh Nagarkoti, that helped them get past the 170-run mark.
Also Read – 3 Reasons why RCB can win IPL 2020
From the Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer (2/18) came up with scintillating figures while Ankit Rajpoot (1/39) and Tom Curran (1/37) bagged expensive numbers. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat bowled just two overs and finished with 1/14.
Rajasthan Royals will take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the first match of the double-header in Abu Dhabi, while Kolkata Knight Riders will play against Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second match of the double-header in Sharjah, on October 3.
Tips and tricks on how to play fantasy cricket on the MPL app