Knights Eliminate RoyalsSet up Qualifier-II clash with SRH

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 May 2018 11:22:54


 

KOLKATA

SKIPPER Ajinkya Rahane’s slow batting cost Rajasthan Royals dearly as two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders comfortably beat them by 25 runs in the Eliminator to set-up the IPL Qualifier-II clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad, here on Wednesday night.On a day KKR star spinner Sunil Narine was expensive and returned wicket-less, the likes of Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna and Kuldeep Yadav stepped up to restrict Rajasthan 144 for four after batsmen put on board 169 for seven.Home skipper Dinesh Karthick and Andre Russell had revived KKR with their magnificent batting as the hosts recovered from a disastrous start. They had their worst start of the season with K Gowtham (2/15) and Jofra Archer (2/33) reducing them to 46 for three inside the Powerplay overs.


Karthick continued his sublime form to lead them to safety with a 38-ball 52, containing four fours and two sixes while Russell came up with his destructive 29-ball unbeaten 49, studded with three boundaries and five sixes to propel the side to a fighting total. Royals began their chase in right earnest with Rahane (46 off 41) and Rahul Tripathi (20) adding 47 runs for the first wicket. Sanju Samson played a smart innings of 50 runs from 38 balls but leg-spinner Piyush Chawla removed Tripathi and Samson to tilt the match in the hosts favour.Rahane batted too slow, playing a lot of dot balls, and the asking rate kept mounting. When Rahane departed it was tough ask for the batsmen at the crease. Rahane got 22 runs from five boundaries but consumed 36 balls for remaining 24 runs.


Kuldeep foxed the Rajasthan skipper with a googly, before Chawla removed an anxious Samson in his last over.
Their equation was still within reach with 43 runs and seven wickets in hand in last three overs but the young pacer Krishna gave away just three runs in the 18th over to tilt the match in their favour.It was a lacklustre show from the Rajasthan middle-order batsmen as Kolkata reigned supreme at the death to advance to Qualifier II for the second time in as many seasons.