Jos Buttler’s second century of the season followed by Yuzvendra Chahal’s five-wicket haul, including a game-changing hat-trick ensured a 7-run victory for Rajasthan Royals.
Chasing a mammoth target of 218, KKR lost Sunil Narine’s wicket on the very first delivery after Shimron Hetmyer’s direct hit provided an early breakthrough for RR.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer confidently started his knock with consecutive fours. Opener Aaron Finch at the other end, hit two fours against Boult in the third over.
The duo brought up a fifty partnership for the second wicket and KKR were 57-1 at the end of powerplay.
19 runs came off the 7th over after Finch crunched three fours and a six against Chahal.
Finch took on Obed McCoy by hitting a four and a six as the next over produced 19 runs.
Prasidh Krishna scalped Finch’s crucial wicket in the 9th over and the opener was dismissed on 58.
KKR were 116-2 at the halfway mark. Nitish Rana, who was the next batter in, smacked a four and six each before the left-handed batter was caught by Buttler off Chahal’s bowling.
Shreyas Iyer reached his half-century and was going strong at one end. Ravi Ashwin castled Andre Russell, who was out on the first ball he faced which turned the game around.
15 runs came from the 15th over as a six and a four from Shreyas Iyer brought the equation down to 51 off the final five overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal brought RR back in the contest with a sensational hat-trick as four wickets fell in the 17thover including the big wicket of skipper Iyer.
However, Umesh Yadav kept KKR’s spirit alive by dispatching two sixes and a four as 20 came off the 18thover.
Prasidh Krishna conceded only 7 runs in the penultimate over and KKR required 11 off 6.
Obed McCoy held his nerves and scalped the final two wickets as RR won the game by 7 runs.
Earlier, RR, who were asked to bat first, made three changes – Karun Nair, Obed McCoy and Trent Boult were named in the eleven.
After a quiet first two overs, Buttler thumped two sixes and as many fours as RR were 40/0 after four overs. The fifty partnership was up for the opening pair, with Jos Buttler doing the majority of the hitting and RR were 55/0 at the end of powerplay.
Umesh Yadav, who was back to bowl the 9th over of the innings, conceded 13 runs in the 9th over after Butter notched his half-century in 29 deliveries.
Padikkal launched Narine for a six before the spinner deceived the left-hander and crashed the ball into the stumps.
RR skipper Sanju Samson got going with two consecutive fours and RR were 120-1 after 12 overs. Buttler creamed 2 fours against Cummins and RR were 148-1 after 14 overs.
Samson smacked a six and a four before Andre Russell provided a crucial breakthrough as the RR skipper was caught at deep mid-wicket.
Buttler reached his second hundred of the season with a magnificent six. However, the RR opener was dismissed in the same over after Buttler was caught at fine-leg.
KKR bounced back with two more wickets with dismissals of Riyan Parag and Karun Nair but Hetmyer struck consecutive sixes in the final over and concluded the innings with a four as RR posted 217/5 in the first innings.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 217/5 (Jos Buttler 103, Sanju Samson 38; Sunil Narine 2-21) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 210 all out (Shreyas Iyer 85, Aaron Finch 58; Yuzvendra Chahal 5-40) by 7 runs.
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