Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav starred with an impressive four-wicket spell as he set up Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens on Tuesday. Kuldeep (4/20) flummoxed Rajasthan Royals batsmen with his wrist spin as the visitors were bowled out for 142 from 19 overs after being sent into bat.
KKR chased down the small target with two overs to spare with Chris Lynn top-scoring with a 42-ball 45 while skipper Dinesh Karthik remaining not out on 41 off 31 deliveries. Karthik took his side home with a six as KKR reached 145 for 4 in 18 overs. Sunil Narine played typical but brief explosive innings of 21 off just seven balls at the top of the innings to lay the foundation of the successful run chase.
Opener Narine gave KKR a flying start taking K Gowhtam to cleaners with 21 runs from the first over with two fours and two sixes. Ben Stokes claimed two wickets -- that of Narine and Robin Uthappa (4) -- in successive overs en route to his superb 3/15 as KKR looked in a spot of bother with 69/3, requiring 74 from 70 balls.
Earlier, Mavi almost dismissed Tripathi first ball with an unplayable delivery in a superb first over that yielded just two runs. But what unfolded from the second over was a series of boundaries and sixes from Buttler and Tripathi in a run sequence that read 6-4-4-4-4-6-4-4-6-4 as RR cruised to 50 in 20 balls. Promoted to open the innings, Tripathi turned it around against Prasidh Krishna after the probing Mavi over, smashing the seamer for a six, followed by a hat-trick of boundaries.
With the win, KKR kept themselves in the hunt for a play-offs spot with 14 points from 13 matches as they remained at the third spot. Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, stuck on 12 points from 13 matches and they will now find it difficult to make it to the playoffs though theoretically still in contention.