Skipper Dinesh Karthik led from the front with the bat while Andre Russell put on a splendid all-round performance as KKR set up a date with Sunrisers Hyderabad for a place in the final of the competition.
Chasing a fighting target of 170, Rajasthan openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi got off to a flying start and started to hit boundaries from the word go. The duo put on a 47-run partnership for the opening wicket in just 5 overs and at this point RR were looking in complete control of the chase.
However, spinner Piyush Chawla did the trick for the home side as he scalped the wicket of Tripathi for 20. That brought Sanju Samson to the crease and he along with skipper Rahane started to build another good partnership for Rajasthan.
The duo played risk-free cricket and took RR's score over the 100-run mark relying mostly on singles and doubles. But Rahane's vigil out in the middle finally ended when we was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav for 46 and that brought down the curtains a brilliant 62-run stand for the second wicket.
But with eight wickets in hand, Rajasthan were still favourites to win the match and Samson was going good on the other end as well. The youngster brought up his third fifty of the season off just 37 deliveries following the dismissal of Rahane.
But Samson lost his concentration after completing his fifty as he became Chawla's second scalp of the day. Stuart Binny too followed suit soon as he was dismissed by Prasidh Krishna for a duck.
Andre Russell bowled an excellent penultimate over of the innings as he gave away just 6 runs and that titled the match firmly in the favour of the home side. Needing 34 off the last over, RR batsmen were never really up for it as Prasidh bowled another good over and the away side eventually fell short by 25 runs.
Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders had a stuttering start to their innings after being put into bat by Ajinkya Rahane. Sunil Narine started proceedings by hitting the first delivery of the innings for a boundary but was dismissed off the very next ball by the wily Krishnappa Gowtham. Narine danced down the track but the spinner changed his length to get Narine stumped.
Gowtham struck on the first delivery of his second over as well as he completed an easy catch off his own bowling. Robin Uthappa looked to turn one down the mid-wicket, but ended up getting a leading edge. The impressive Jofra Archer struck in the fourth over of the innings to send back Nitish Rana as the hosts slumped to 24/3.
Captain Dinesh Karthik joined Chris Lynn in the middle and took the attack to the opposition immediately, hitting Jaydev Unadkat for three boundaries in the last over ofthe powerplay.
There was no relief for KKR though as Shreyas Gopal sent back Chris Lynn in the eighth over. The Aussie playing a subdued knock of 18 off 22 deliveries on a slowish pitch.
The young Shubman Gill joined the skipper in the middle and duo started a repair job to put the innings back on track. After playing out a few over cautiously, the duo attacked Shreyas Gopal in the 14th over of the innings, hitting him for two sixes and a boundary.
The 55-run stand was broken in the 15th over as Gill departed for 28, caught behind off the bowling of Archer. Andre Russell came out wielding his broad willow and got going by smashing a huge six off Archer.
Dinesh Karthik brought up his half-century with a massive six on the first delivery of the 17th over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat. The left-arm paceman was punished by Russell later in the over as he pummelled him for a boundary and a six.
Karthik was sent back for 52 by Ben Laughlin but Andre Russell kept going and finished with an unbeaten 49 off just 25 deliveries to power KKR to a total of 169/7.
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First Published: May 23, 2018, 11:07 PM IST