Kolkata Knight Riders registered a sensational victory by a 25-run win against the Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator clash at home.
Courtesy of their victory, Kolkata will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 on Friday. Rajasthan Royals were well on a course for the victory target of 170. However, the KKR bowlers made a terrific comeback in the back end. They bowled quite superbly in the later stages which eventually helped them win the match quite comprehensively in the end.
With the ball in hand, Piyush Chawla was the pick of the KKR bowlers bagging a couple of wickets for just 24 runs. Prasid Krishna bowled a fantastic final couple of overs which eventually helped them register a brilliant victory.
Winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals elected to field first. Krishnappa Gowtham was at his very best after dismissing Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa in quick succession.
Kolkata got reduced to 17/2 following the two quick wickets. Nitish Rana also got dismissed in quick succession, as Jofra Archer brought about his downfall. After a knock of 18 off 22 deliveries, Chris Lynn was sent back by Shreyas Gopal.
From there on, skipper Dinesh Karthik stitched together a brilliant partnership of 57 runs which got KKR back on track. Gill, in particular, took on the Rajasthan bowlers with disdain, Karthik also played some good shots.
However, the late impetus was provided by Andre Russell. He came in after the loss of Gill. Russell was at his imperious best and ended up smashing three fours and five sixes during his unbeaten knock of 49 off 25 deliveries.
Karthik smashed an impressive knock of 52 off 38 deliveries which studded with four fours and a couple of sixes. Rajasthan needed to get off to a good start and that was what exactly Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi did.
Tripathi smashed a couple of sixes off Sunil Narine which got RR off to a brisk start. It was a great partnership of 47 runs before Piyush Chawla dismissed Tripathi.
Sanju Samson and Rahane shared a great partnership which got RR close to the victory target. However it some brilliant bowling by KKR in the death overs which prevented RRR from going past the target. Prasid Krishna produced a couple of sensational overs in the death which proved to be quite instrumental in KKR’s victory.
Chawla turned out to be the pick of the bowlers for Kolkata Knight Riders bagging a couple for just 24 runs. In the end, Andre Russell was handed the Man of the Match Award for his great all-round performance.
KKR will now face the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier 2 day after tomorrow. The winner of the match will play Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Kolkata Knight Riders 169/7 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 52, Andre Russell 49*, Krishnappa Gowtham 2/15)
Rajasthan Royals 144/4 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 50, Ajinkya Rahane 46, Piyush Chawla 2/24)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 25 runs