The Kolkata Knight Riders, who beat Rajasthan Royals by six wickets in a crucial IPL 2018 match at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.
The visitors began in a whirlwind fashion and threatened to blow away their opponents after KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to field. But the home side staged a remarkable comeback in the second half of Royals’ innings and bowled them out for 142 in 19 overs.
The hosts, who got the winning runs losing four wickets with 12 balls to spare, stayed firmly in contention for a playoff berth with 14 points from 13 matches.
A win in their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad should now ensure them a top-four berth. It’s not all over for the Royals, who too can progress, but now they not only have to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last match but also hope other results go their way.
Royals, who had raced to 50 runs in just 20 balls, lost momentum thereafter, managing just 83 runs in 15 overs while losing all 10 wickets.
Sunil Narine once again provided the momentum, hitting K Gowtham for 21 runs in the first over. Chris Lynn held the innings together with a 42-ball 45 (5×4, 1×6). Karthik finished it off with a six to remain undefeated on 41 off 31 balls in a knock that included five fours and one six.
It was action from the very first delivery of the match itself as Nitish Rana dropped Rahul Tripathi at first slip off Shivam Mavi. Tripathi, who replaced Shreyas Gopal, fired in the next over, hitting Prasidh Krishna for a six and three boundaries.
Jos Butler continued to flaunt his red-hot form by singling out Mavi for special treatment. The youngster, back in action after missing three matches due to an injury, was taken to the cleaners by Buttler, whose scoring sequence read 4, 6, 4, 4, 6, 4 as Mavi conceded 28 runs in his second over.>