A second-wicket stand of 69 runs between Robin Uthappa (48) and Sunil Narine (35) put the Kolkata Knight Riders on course for victory in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Wednesday.. ALSO SEE: UPDATES
Nitish Rana (35 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (42 not out) were at the crease for the Knights who won by seven wickets with seven deliveries to spare, their third victory in IPL 2018 for the twice former champions.. ALSO SEE: SCORECARD
The Knights suffered a hiccup in their chase of Rajasthan Royals’ modest 161 runs as opener Chris Lynn was bowled for a duck the third delivery of the innings. But Narine and Uthappa steadied the ship for the visiting team.
The duo provided KKR the platform to chase down the target before Narine was run out after playing a cameo in the ninth over. Uthappa looked like he would take the Knights to the end but he too got out while trying to go for a maximum, caught brilliantly by Ben Stokes at the ropes on second attempt.
The knocks of openers Ajinkya Rahane (36) and D’Arcy Short (44) took Rajasthan Royals to 160/8 after being asked to bat on a slow track by Dinesh Karthik.
The visitors started the proceedings with two wrist spinners. Piyush Chawla (1/18) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/23) bowled well to restrict Rajasthan Royals to nine runs off the first three overs.
Pace was introduced and Rahane went after Shivam Mavi (1/40) too, hitting the teenager for the first six of the game. Just when Rahane was looking dangerous after setting himself up for a big score, he was run out by an instinctive Karthik after the RR skipper was beaten against Nitish Rana’s part-time off-spin, providing the Knights a breakthrough in the seventh over.
Sanju Samson (7), the Royals’ star in their previous matches, was caught cheaply and KKR had wrested command of the match again by slowing down the hosts.
Opener Short, who hasn’t had an IPL 2018 to boast of, was playing second fiddle to Rahane. But he slowly began accelerating. Short started targeting Narine after getting into groove. But he too perished while nearing his maiden IPL half-century.
The wicket slowed down and the ball kept low as well. Star all-rounder Ben Stokes (14), Rahul Tripathi (15), K Gowtham (12) also got out after getting starts.