KKR won the game by 60 runs to keep their playoffs dreams alive.
The 54th match of the Indian Premier League went live from Dubai between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals. It was a do or die contest for both Royals and Kolkata, but the latter turned out to be the heroes. KKR won the game by 60 runs. Batting first, KKR posted a huge total of 191 on the board where Eoin Morgan played the perfect innings (68* off 35) of a skipper. Rahul Tripathi’s 39 off 34 remained essential in building the team’s score.
Pat Cummins was named as the player of the match for his surreal bowling during the power play. Andre Russell returned to the game after a long time and gave in his decent contribution by adding 25 off 11 in the end. Jofra Archer remained economical from RR by picking a single wicket. Rahul Tewatia again showed his dominance with the ball by naming three wickets under his belt.
Hunting down the heavy target, the top order of RR failed terribly to do the right work on the occasion. Jos Buttler’s 35 off 22 was the only bright spot from Rajasthan’s batting line up. Shivam Mavi was phenomenal as he conceded just 15 runs to pick two wickets. Pat Cummins, on the other hand, justified his huge bidding amount in all senses today by picking quick four wickets.
Losing skipper, Steve Smith said
We thought 180 was par. But losing four in the first four didn’t help. He (Cummins) bowled nice lengths and made us play big shots. Unfortunately we are at the wrong end of the result. We started well with two wins, we won two before this one but we were inconsistent in the middle we didn’t take enough responsibility. Couple of positives for us, Jofra has played exceptionally well for us. Tewatia pulled a few out of the hatfor us, bowled exceptionally well through the tournament as well. You need to win those you should win. The BCCI and everyone involved to get this tournament up and running have done a fantastic. Hope we were able to put few smile on people’s faces, especially in India where it’s been tough.
Winning skipper, Eoin Morgan said
I thought it was around a par score. Every batsman who came back in and said that it was a beautiful wicket with the dew in. We lost wickets between 10th and 15th overs, and to finish like we did was really good. We were out there to be play a free-flowing style of cricket. That was the only way we were going to win. Especially with the dew factor expected anyways, irrespective of when it came. Bringing out Dre Russ in meant that it took the conditions out of the equation. We backed the guys to take a bit of risk even if it wasn’t there.
That was one thing we talked about, leading into this game. We felt that a hard length or a good length was the best spot to bowl. We tried to execute that in the first six overs and I thought Mavi was outstanding. Obviously Pat set the tone early on. Winning the game was about taking wickets, especially early. RR are a side that are top-heavy and you need to get them early. Having that aggressive mindset was important for us. Yes, I was aware of the numbers (about net run rate) but you need to first get yourself into a winning position. I don’t think we could have done anything more today. So whatever happens from here is upto the Gods.
Player of the match, Pat Cummins said
(On going for 19 in the first over) A lot goes through your mind. First few balls weren’t great. As long as you go back to bowling your best balls, it’s alright. Top of off is always that area for me, there was a bit early in there with the new ball. So, I was trying to get as many in there as I can. Not really, don’t think I expected to get all wickets like that. Some days you bowl well and don’t get luck, some days you get a bit of luck as well. Today, everything fell into place. I guess early on in the season, I put a lot of pressure on myself. As the tournament has gone on, I’ve got better and better. You’re always learning.