IPL-2018: KKR bowlers restrict Rajasthan to 160/8
Jaipur, April 18 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals to restrict Rajasthan Royals to 160/8 in 20 overs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Wednesday.
Sunil Narine had an off day leaking 48 runs in four overs without taking a wicket but in-form Nitish Rana put his hand up to remove openers Ajinkya Rahane (36; 19b 5×4 1×6) and D’Arcy Short (44; 43b 5×4 1×6) while Tom Curran shaved off the lower order with two scalps in two deliveries.
For the hosts, Short was the top-scorer but never got going while explosive England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler helped them reach a fighting target with a 18-ball 24 not out.
In the last over, young fast bowler Shivam Mavi (1/40) bowled three wide balls and Chris Lynn dropped Dhawal Kulkarni (3) who was later run out.
The visitors, choosing to field first after skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss, were given a good start by wrist spinners Piyush Chawla (1/18) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/23) who combined well to leak just nine runs in the first three overs.
Rahane then took on Narine, the most economical bowler in the IPL so far, hitting him for four back-to-back fours straight up. The India Test team vice-captain swept and drove the West Indian mystery spinner with aplomb to garner 18 runs off the over.
Rahane looked in sublime form as he smashed Mavi for a flat six down the wicket in the next over as Short also milked the U-19 World Cup winner for a boundary. After six overs, RR were 48/0.
RR then lost two quick wickets. First, Karthik effected a brilliant diving run out to get rid of the dangerous Rahane off Nitish Rana, breaking the 54-run opening wicket stand between him and Short.
Sanju Samson, whose unbeaten 45-ball 92 helped RR win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game, followed suit soon after, picking out Kuldeep at deep midwicket off Mavi who bowled really well to cramp the Kerala batsman for room.
Just when Short was looking to accelerate, taking on Mavi for a six and four off successive deliveries in the 12th over, Rana castled him with a slider in the next over to break the 36-run third wicket partnership with Rahul Tripathi.
The inaugural IPL winners never recovered from there as Tripathi (15) and Ben Stokes (14) departed without any significant contribution, their wickets taken by Kuldeep and Chawla respectively.
Curran then accounted for K. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal in consecutive deliveries to further dent RR’s plans of scoring big in the last two overs with the big-hitting Buttler at the crease.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 160/8 in 20 overs (D’Arcy Short 44, Ajinkya Rahane 36; Ntiish Rana 2/11, Tom Curran 2/19) vs Kolkata Knight Riders