IPL 2018 – KKR vs RR: Kolkata hit the top after seven-wicket win

0
172

April 18, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 163 for 3 (Uthappa 48, Karthik 42*) beat Rajasthan Royals 160 for 8 (Short 44, Rahane 36) by seven wickets

April 18, 2018: Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2018 Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik sent in Rajasthan Royals to bat – BCCI

April 18, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 163 for 3 (Uthappa 48, Karthik 42*) beat Rajasthan Royals 160 for 8 (Short 44, Rahane 36) by seven wickets

April 18, 2018: Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2018 Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik sent in Rajasthan Royals to bat – BCCI

JAIPUR – Dinesh Karthik showed off his captaincy, wicketkeeping and batting skills one after the other, to be the leading light in Kolkata Knight Riders’ seven-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday (April 18).

Victory gave Kolkata six points from five matches, and took them to the top of the points table.

As captain, Karthik went out of the box with spinners bowling the first four overs of the innings and overall, the pacers bowled only six of the 20 overs as Rajasthan were kept to 160 for 8. As ‘keeper, he pulled off the moment of the match when he ran out Ajinkya Rahane, his opposite number, in a brilliant fashion. As batsman, he walked in with 59 needed from 45 balls and proceeded to stroke 42 not out off 23 to take his side over the line in just 18.5 overs, with a six to finish things off taking Kolkata to 163 for 3.

Karthik began the day by calling right at the toss, and his calls throughout the match paid off too. The first three overs were bowled by Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav, and neither Rahane nor D’Arcy Short could get any momentum going initially with only nine runs scored. The run-rate picked up against Sunil Narine of all bowlers, with Rahane smashing him for four fours in the fourth over, heralding what would be a poor day for the ace spinner.

Narine eventually ended up conceding 48 runs in four overs for his worst-ever IPL analysis, but despite taking so many off the man who had been the tournament’s most economical bowler till then, all Rajasthan could get was a par total. That was largely down to how much Short struggled to get a move on. He hit five fours and a six but still could make only 44 from 43 balls, not being able to rotate the strike and being tied down particularly well by the slower bowlers. Short had not had a good outing so far in the IPL, and he did little to repay the team management’s faith in him with his scratchy knock.

Rahane though, was going great guns after his breaking-free over. He was keeping Rajasthan’s run-rate up and looked to be growing increasingly confident, including walking down the track and hitting a flat six off Shivam Mavi. It needed Karthik’s brilliance to end his stay. Nitish Rana had been brought on for his part-time off-spin and Rahane stepped down the track and tried to turn him away to leg. The ball struck pad and rolled backwards, and quick as lightning, Karthik dived, collected the ball and flicked it back onto the stumps with Rahane not having regained his crease.

 

Rajasthan had just about started getting on with it but with the fluent Rahane gone for 36 off 19, they were 54 for 1 in the seventh over. The in-form Sanju Samson fell two overs later, pulling Mavi straight to deep midwicket. Short meanwhile, was plodding on, having made only 21 from 30 balls at one stage, before belatedly getting a move on. However, Rana’s quicker one splayed his stumps before he could fully make up for his slow start, and Rajasthan were 98 for 3 in the 13th over on a pitch that had no great demons in it.

The batsmen to follow threw their bats around, but with time running out, none of them could really get going.

Rajasthan’s defence began on the right note, with K Gowtham castling Chris Lynn for a duck in the first over, Rahane having taken a leaf from Karthik’s book to open with spin. That was the last time they smiled though. First, the pairing of Narine and Robin Uthappa put on 69 runs in just 8.1 overs, picking off the boundaries with ease. Narine’s clobber-them-if-in-hitting-arc approach was complemented well by Uthappa’s clean hitting. In the space of two overs, both men set Rahane’s plans back considerably by carting runs off Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni respectively.

Ben Laughlin’s introduction did nothing to stem the flow of runs and at the end of the Power Play, Kolkata had powered to 53 for 1. The stand ended when Narine’s carelessness cost him his wicket. Having shaped to reverse sweep Shreyas Gopal, he missed and the ball rolled off his pad to short third man. There was no run in it but Narine had pushed off without looking at his partner. By the time he turned back, the stumps had been broken and he was run out for a 25-ball 35.

Crucially, Kolkata didn’t let the wicket disrupt their momentum. Uthappa and Rana shared a useful stand of 32 in 3.5 overs before Uthappa (48 off 36) was caught by Ben Stokes on the boundary, the fielder disbalancing but throwing the ball back in and completing the catch in a fashion that has become almost commonplace now.

That brought Karthik to the crease, and he was off the blocks straightaway. Rana (35 not out off 27) slowed down a tad in the middle of their unbroken 61-run stand, but Karthik knew the moment to step on the accelerator and controlled the chase beautifully to take his team over the line.


Courtesy/Source: Wisden India

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here