A clinical performance from Rajasthan Royals set up by their bowlers, including a four wicket haul from Chris Morris, helped them beat Kolkata Knight Riders comfortably by 6 wickets at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. Bowling first, RR kept KKR to 133 for 9 in 20 overs, with Morris bagging 4 for 23 in 4 overs. KKR struggled in their top order, with Shubman Gill (11 off 19) and Nitish Rana (22 off 25) failing to get going.
In reply, RR got home easily in 18.5 overs. Sanju Samson anchored the chase scoring 42* off 41.
The only way KKR could have defended that score was through early wickets. But Shubman Gill dropped Yashasvi Jaiswal off Shivam Mavi early, depriving KKR a chance to do that. At the other end, Varun Chakravarthy continued to impress trapping Jos Buttler lbw with one that turned back in in the fourth over. Jaiswal, who had attacked his way to 22 off 17 with five boundaries, fell in the next over looking for another boundary.
At 40 for 2 in the fifth over, KKR had a slight chance of coming back into the game. However, they had Sanju Samson to anchor the chase to safety. A subdued Samson, intent on playing calmly, guided RR adding 45 for the third wicket with Shivam Dube, before the latter fell trying to attack Varun. Rahul Tewatia fell soon after leaving RR 100 for 4 in 13.4 overs, caught in the deep looking to hook Prasidh Krishna.
But Samson was joined by David Miller, and the duo had no pressure due to the low target.
Earlier, Morris’s four-wicket haul included Andre Russell, Pat Cummins and Dinesh Karthik, helping Rajasthan Royals (RR) restrict Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a low total.
Russell, Cummins and Karthik had played explosive innings in the last match against Chennai Super Kings to take their side to 202 from 31/5. But on Saturday, they just couldn’t get going. All three of them were caught while trying to hit the South African out of the boundary.
Morris, who was bought for Rs 16.25 crore ahead of this season by RR to become the most expensive player in IPL history, returned with figures of four for 23 in four overs. He was ably supported by left-arm pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman, who took one for 22.
Saurashtra pace bowling duo Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya who opened the bowling were also impressive with the senior pro taking 1/25 and the junior 1/31 as KKR could never find their bearings.
Only Rahul Tripathi (36 off 26 balls) and Dinesh Karthik (25 off 24 balls) put up some decent batting performances to help their side do well.
Morris’s bowling at the death was what hurt KKR the most.
At 117/5 and 15 balls to go, KKR had a chance to get to 150 with hard-hitters Russell, Karthik and Cummins still there.
But Morris got rid of Russell and Karthik in one over, his third, and then returned to removed Cummins in the last over.
Earlier, KKR kept losing wickets at regular intervals and found scoring tough. They were reduced to 61/4 just after 10 overs.
(With IANS inputs)