IPL 2018: Match 49, KKR vs RR, Review - Lynn and Karthik ace the chase after Kuldeep Yadav's sensational spell

IPL 2018: Match 49, KKR vs RR, Review – Lynn and Karthik ace the chase after Kuldeep Yadav’s sensational spell

The visitors tried hard but the score of 142 was never going to challenge the power-packed Knight Riders.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Kuldeep Yadav celebrates fall of a wicket. (Photo by Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have defeated the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 6 wickets in one of the most important games of the season at the Eden Gardens. The victory has kept the two-time champions well and truly alive in the tournament and most importantly have their fate in their own hands going into the final game. Kuldeep Yadav was the star of the day who changed the game on its head with his sensational spell. However, the Royals crumbled after a good start and the target of 143 was never going to challenge the power-packed Knight Riders.

Ajinkya Rahane failed to call it correctly at the toss and it was a no-brainer that the hosts’ skipper opted to field even as they went in without the leggie Piyush Chawla and included Shivam Mavi in the line-up. Surprisingly, the Royals made three changes to winning combination and brought Ish Sodhi, Rahul Tripathi and Anureet Singh into the playing XI.

Tripathi and Buttler blaze off

Rahul Tripathi and Jos Buttler opened the innings for the visitors as Mavi opened the bowling with the new cherry and gave away only a couple of runs. However, that was the calm before the storm as what followed was the IPL record. The duo smashed 10 consecutive boundaries with Tripathi taking on Prasidh Krishna first by hitting him for six and three fours and then the onslaught was followed by his partner. Mavi was hit for 28 runs by Buttler which included a couple of maximums and four shots down the ground which went to the fence.

Royals crossed the 50-run mark in the fourth over itself and the platform was set for a huge score on once again against KKR bowlers. However, one man denied them all the glory and turned the game on its head in his four-over spell.

Sensational Kuldeep pull back RR

Andre Russell’s introduction proved to be a relief for Dinesh Karthik as he broke the 63-run stand by dismissing Tripathi who was threatening to take the game away. Soon after the end of the powerplay, Kuldeep Yadav was brought into the attack and he struck off his second delivery by knocking down the furniture of Rahane. He tried to play the reverse sweep off the googly pitched on middle and leg and saw his off-stump going down. The wicket pulled back the visitors as the run-rate went down but they were still going well thanks to the early assault.

But Buttler too went for the reverse sweep unnecessarily off the same bowler and ended up lobbing the ball to the short third man fielder which proved to be the massive moment in the game. Soon the batting line-up of the Royals was in a mess as Sanju Samson was also sent back thanks to the instinctive review by the captain of the KKR. The Chinaman was on fire today and he scalped a couple more wickets to send back Stuart Binny and Ben Stokes as they collapsed to 107/7 in the 14th over.

It was all one-way traffic after the wicket of Buttler and the Royals were bundled out for a meagre total of 142 runs in 19 overs. They added 35 more runs due to the batting prowess showed by Jaydev Unadkat who scored 26 runs off 18 balls. Kuldeep was the star for the Knight Riders as he returned with the magical figures of 4/20 from his four overs.

Tricky chase aced by Lynn

Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine opened the innings like a norm for the hosts and the latter just shocked Rajasthan by attacking the offie Krishnappa Gowtham. The first four deliveries of the over went for 20 runs and it seemed like the chase will be done and dusted soon. But the ploy of the short ball was right away employed against him and Ben Stokes got him in the very next over. Robin Uthappa‘s mixed bag season continued as he was also trapped by the same bowler with a short delivery itself.

However, Lynn decided to play safe then and only thumped poor deliveries which came his way. Nitish Rana supported him perfectly as the duo took the game forward with a stand of 33 runs between them only for the left-hander to be trapped in front of the stumps. The Royals were bowling well and were determined in the field as well but the required run-rate was not too much and it was the perfect situation for Karthik to come in.

He joined Lynn and both started manipulating the ball cleverly even as the latter took care of the occasional short and wide deliveries. The chase was well under control for KKR but Stokes was excellent with his bowling as his short ball scalped the key wicket of Lynn who was marching towards his half-century. Karthik survived the close lbw call off the very next delivery and there were no more hiccups for the home side.

They cruised to victory in the 18 overs itself with the ever so calm Karthik in the middle and Russell assisted him well in the end. KKR registered their seventh win of the season and strengthened their third position in the points table but are still not through to the playoffs. Royals, however, will need a miracle in their final match against RCB as they will have to win big and depend on other results to go their way. Moreover, they will also miss the services of Buttler and Stokes who will leave India for their national commitments.

Brief Scores

Rajasthan Royals 142 after 19 overs (J Butter 39, R Tripathi 27; K Yadav 4/20, A Russell 2/13)

Kolkata Knight Riders 145/4 after 18 overs (C Lynn 45, D Karthik 41*; B Stokes 3/15, I Sodhi 1/21)

Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Kuldeep Yadav