Kolkata Knight Riders’ roller-coaster ride of a season took another interesting turn on Sunday when the side put on an all-round show in a sumptuous 60-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Dubai.
The victory has now kept the side in the reckoning for the play-off berths as the side claimed the fourth spot on the table while the road to the final ended for Steve Smith-led RR. Now KKR will hope Sunrisers Hyderabad lose their game against Mumbai Indians while a big loss for any of the Royal Challengers Bangalore or Delhi Capitals could help them climb further in the table.
In the match earlier, Eoin Morgan (68 runs off 35) did his bit with the bat to take KKR to a huge total of 191/7. However, the resounding win was down to a tornado of a spell from Pat Cummins, who cleared off the entire star-studded Royals top-order with just 37 runs on the board. The entire RR batting could only manage at 132/9 at the end of their 20 overs.
With a big total to defend, Cummins first removed Robin Uthappa (6 off 2) in the opening over right after the opener shot him for a six. Uthappa was at blame her for his rash shot selection.
Ben Stokes (18 off 11) followed him at the beginning of the third over as Dinesh Karthik too catch of the match behind the stump with a dive to his left. Steve Smith (4 off 4) was played down in the last ball of the very over with just 32 runs on the board for RR.
Shivam Mavi soon joined the party with Sanju Samson’s (1 off 4) in the very next over while Cummins then completed his opening spell with the wicket of Riyan Parag (0 off 7) to send the RR top-order back to the dugout by the end of fifth over.
The last recognised batting pair of Jos Buttler and Rahul Tewatia then put on a strand of 43 rums for the sixth wicket. However, the dwindling hopes faded away in the 11th over when Varun Chakravarthy got the precious wicket of Buttler (35 off 22).
Tewatia (31 off 22) tried to steer the chase with Shreyas Gopal but the southpaw found the soaring run rate too stiff and fell to Varun in the 15th over after taking RR past the 100-run mark.
Earlier in the first innings, KKR captain Eoin Morgan finally came to the party with a blistering 68 off 35 balls to lead his team to 191/7 in a decisive match.
Momentum shifted both ways at various points of the innings with KKR getting off to a strong start, despite losing Nitish Rana off the second ball. Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill put up a partnership of 72 runs between them before the latter fell to Rahul Tewatia.
KKR then lost Sunil Narine, Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik in quick succession. Andre Russell and Morgan then tried shifting the momentum their team's way. While the former succumbed to Kartik Tyagi, Morgan soldiered on and smashed his England teammate Ben Stokes to all corners of the park in the 19th over.
Pat Cummins first hit a six off the second ball of the over after which he brought Morgan on strike with a single. Morgan then hit consecutive sixes and a four as KKR took a total of 24 runs from that over. Morgan hit a six off the last ball of the innings to take KKR beyond 190.