The Kolkata Knight Riders worked their way to a good win over the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and finally ended their losing streak too.
KKR won the toss and elected to bowl first on a track that wasn’t the easiest to play shots on. The ball seemed to stop off the wicket and that saw RR get off to a rather sedate start.
Even Jos Buttler (22 off 25), who has been in sublime form this season, was unable to find a higher gear due to the nature of the pitch. Sanju Samson (54 off 49) also wasn’t able to play shots with the freedom he usually does.
No one really got going for RR but a 13-ball 27 from Shimron Hetmyer got them past the psychologically important 150-run mark. RR finished with 152 – not a great total but one that, on this particular wicket – would give them a chance.
On the bowling front, Umesh Yadav and Anukul Roy started the innings well and Sunil Narine (4-0-19-0) was at his miserly best but Tim Southee (2/46) took a hammering.
The KKR innings started slowly as well. They lost openers Baba Indrajith and Aaron Finch early but then consolidated very well through skipper Shreyas Iyer (34 off 32) and Nitish Rana (48 off 37).
Things, however, changed with the fall of Iyer’s wicket. While the KKR skipper wasn’t able to play the big shots today, Rinku Singh had no such problems.
The left-hander scored a brilliant 42 off just 23 balls to guide his team to an important win. His inventive strokeplay proved to be too much for RR and the 66-run unbroken stand he shared with Rana did the trick for his team.
The RR bowlers had an off-day with no one impressing in particular. Trent Boult was the best of the bunch and finished with bowling figures of 1/25 in his four overs.