The Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 27-run win over the Rajasthan Royals in the twelfth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL). KKR put up an all-round show while RR struggled to adapt to the bigger ground in Dubai, having played their first two games at Sharjah.
After being put in to bat first, the Knight Riders got off to a decent start, with Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine putting up 36 runs for the first wicket. The West Indian seemed to be struggling at the beginning. Just when he finally seemed to get going with a maximum and a boundary off consecutive deliveries, he was sent packing for a run-a-ball 14 by Jaydev Unadkat.
Nitish Rana joined Shubman Gill, and they steadied the ship while dispatching the bad deliveries to the boundary. Their 46-run stand was broken by the introduction of Rahul Tewatia, who bowled a solitary over but managed to pick up the wicket of Rana.
Jofra Archer was at his very best, bowling some woefully quick deliveries. He was brought into the attack in the eleventh over, and the move paid dividends as he struck with his first ball, dismissing the set Shubman Gill for a well-made 47(34). Dinesh Karthik had a short stay at the crease as he was undone by an absolute peach by Archer.
With plenty of overs to play, Andre Russell was promoted up the order. Dre Russ seemed a little rusty today and was troubled by the short deliveries. However, he freed his arms and whacked three huge maximums before falling to Ankit Rajpoot.
A 23-ball 34 by Eoin Morgan along with a few runs from the lower-order helped KKR post a competitive score of 174 runs for the loss of 6 wickets from their allotted 20 overs.
As for the bowlers, Archer was incredible with the ball in hand, returning with envious figures of 2-18 from his four overs. Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat, Tom Curran and Rahul Tewatia all chipped in with a wicket each too.
Chasing 175 runs for victory, the Rajasthan Royals' innings never got going, with skipper Steven Smith being dismissed for just three runs by Pat Cummins in the second over itself. Sanju Samson could not replicate his form from the games in Sharjah as Shivam Mavi got the better of him.
Jos Buttler continued attacking the bowlers and scored 21(16) before becoming Mavi's second victim of the day. The wickets fell like a pack of cards after that as RR's middle-order crumbled under pressure. This collapse from their middle-order ended RR's hopes of winning this game.
Rahul Tewatia was unable to replicate his heroics from the previous match, before falling to Varun Chakravarthy, who was bowling his first over. Tom Curran played himself in before going after the bowling. He played a brilliant knock, scoring 54 off 36 balls, including two boundaries and three huge maximums.
The KKR bowlers were brilliant tonight, with each of them contributing with at least a wicket. The youngsters stole the show, with Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi snaring two wickets each. Varun Chakravarthy dismissed a couple too while Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins chipped in with scalps of their own.
Updated IPL 2020 Points Table
With this loss, Rajasthan Royals lose top spot in the table and now stand third due to an inferior net run-rate. The Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, have made a massive leap in standings as they move up by five spots to second place. Delhi Capitals find themselves at the top of the table as a result of their healthy net run-rate.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad drop down one place each to accommodate KKR in the top half of the table.
An opportunity to rocket to the top of the table presents itself to the Kings XI Punjab and the Mumbai Indians tomorrow as they face off at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.