Ajinkya Rahane IPL 2018
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Rajasthan Royals failed to progress in IPL playoffs after their 25-run defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata, and RR captain Ajinkya Rahane has credited the hosts’ bowlers.

Having won the toss and electing to field first, Rajasthan Royals bowlers were on top inside the power play overs. Krishnappa Gowtham removed the dangerous Sunil Narine in the very first over. Soon after, Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana followed suit. Things got complicated for Kolkata Knight Riders inside first six overs.

K Gowtham IPL 2018
K Gowtham took two wickets in the PP overs for Rajasthan Royals. Image Courtesy: BCCI

However, Chris Lynn alongside captain Dinesh Karthik tried to stabilise the innings. But once Lynn got dismissed, youngster Shubman Gill rose to the occasion and played an excellent hand in helping Kolkata reconstruct their innings.

The duo added a valuable 50-run stand for the fifth wicket. Once Shubman got out, both Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell started countering the bowlers and were quite successful in upping the run rate. The duo scored some quick runs for the side in the slog overs.

This propelled Kolkata to a decent 169/7 in their 20 overs. Krishnappa Gowtham was once again the star in Rajasthan bowling.

Kolkata Bowlers On Top After Poor Start

Asked to chase a par 170 on an Eden wicket, Rajasthan Royals got off to a flying start. Both Rahane and Rahul Tripathi managed to get out of their blocks and score boundaries easily. The duo made the most of the power play overs before Tripathi departed.

Once the power play overs are done, Kolkata Knight Riders’ spin trio came into the fray. They restricted runs quite effectively and managed to create extra pressure on Rajasthan batsmen.

Kuldeep Yadav IPL 2018
Kuldeep Yadav took Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket to put RR on the back foot. Image Courtesy: BCCI

It eventually pay-off when Rahane played one back into the hands of Kuldeep Yadav. Youngster Sanju Samson also got dismissed in search of quick runs. Kolkata continued their pressure on Rajasthan batsmen and eventually got their win comfortably at the end.

Speaking after the game, Ajinkya Rahane said,

“Disappointed, especially given how we started, taking 4-5 wickets early. That partnership (between Karthik and Gill) and the dropped catch of Russell hurt us. When you get a start like that, you generally look to win the game.

“I think KKR bowled really well. They know the conditions really well. It was gettable. They were 10-12 runs short. It’s important to finish the games, and we didn’t have partnerships towards the end. When me and Sanju were batting, we were looking to play positively.

“I told him during the second timeout that I will go after bowlers and that you bat through. But unfortunately, he got out. I think overall we played good cricket. Our bowling unit fantastic this season. Need to improve in our batting and fielding.”