The young Indian cricketers of Kolkata Knight Riders put in an impressive performance as the team defeated Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
Having posted 174/6 batting first at the Dubai International Stadium, KKR rode on a fine all-round bowling effort to restrict the Royals to 137/9 in 20 overs.
Rajasthan opener Jos Buttler got to 21 at the top of the order but the next four batsmen – Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag – could manage just single-digit scores.
England’s Tom Curran hit an unbeaten 54 batting at No 7 but it was too little, too late for the men in pink who tasted their first defeat of the season.
For KKR, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Varun Chakravarthy picked up two wickets each. West Indies’ Sunil Narine was the most expensive bowler and finished with figures of 1/40 from his four overs.
Earlier, England fast bowler Jofra Archer delivered a scintillating spell to keep the Knight Riders innings in check.
Archer (2/18) hit the deck hard and clocked the fastest delivery of the tournament (152.1 kph) in a fiery spell, taking two key wickets – in-form opener Shubman Gill (47 from 34 balls) and skipper Dinesh Karthik (1) – after the Royals opted to field.
With Archer triggering a mid-innings collapse, the big-hitting Andre Russell (24 from 14) too was dismissed soon and it was left to England’s World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan (23-ball 34 not out) to stay till the end.
With Gill looking well set for a second successive half-century, Archer was reintroduced in the 12th over and he dismissed the set opener straightway with a leading edge that he caught himself.
In his next over, Archer dismissed Karthik with a beauty that angled in before nipping away and taking the outside edge to keeper Jos Buttler.
Russell was finally promoted up at No 5 but the star Jamaican became the victim of Ankit Rajpoot while trying to accelerate the scoring rate.
Russell’s wicket meant KKR lost four wickets for 33 runs in the last 10 overs and it was left to Morgan to prop up the total.
As it turned out, what KKR had on the board was more than sufficient with the team that won the toss losing for the sixth time in six matches in Dubai.
With the win, KKR move up to second on the points table.
(With inputs from PTI)
Watch highlights (courtesy iplt20.com) here:
|Kolkata Knight Riders||3||2||1||+0.117||4|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||3||2||1||-1.450||4|
|Kings XI Punjab||3||1||2||+1.498||2|
|Chennai Super Kings||3||1||2||-0.840||2|