KKR tasted victory after defeating Rajasthan by seven wickets

Mumbai, May 2 (PTI) Nitish Rana (48 not out) and Rinku Singh (42 not out) put on a 66-run stand in 6.2 overs as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) stunned in their Indian Premier League match with five balls to spare on Monday. Beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.

Batting first, Rajasthan team scored 152 runs for five wickets. KKR scored 158 for three in 19.1 overs to register a win after five consecutive losses.

While Nitish hit three fours and two sixes in his 37-ball unbeaten innings, Rinku hit six fours and a six in his 23-ball attack. Captain Shreyas Iyer scored 34 runs in 32 balls with the help of three fours and a six. He laid the foundation of victory by sharing 60 runs for the third wicket with Rinku.

For Rajasthan, Trent Boult (25 runs in four overs), Prashant Krishna (37 runs in four overs) and Kuldeep Sen (28 runs in 3.1 overs) took one wicket each. This is the first match of the season for the team when the spin bowlers pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal could not take a single wicket. Both conceded 64 runs in eight overs.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals scored 152 for five on the basis of captain Sanju Samson’s (54) half-century. Samson hit seven fours and a six in his 49-ball innings. In the last over, Riyan Parag made 19 in 12 balls with the help of two sixes and a four and Shimron Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 27 runs in 13 balls with the help of two sixes and a four to take the team’s score to 150.

Team Saudi took two wickets for 46 runs in four overs for KKR. Umesh Yadav, Anukul Roy and Shivam Mavi took a wicket each while Sunil Narine conceded just 19 runs in four overs.

Chasing the target, KKR once again could not get off to a good start. Opener Aaron Finch (4 runs) was bowled by Sen, while Baba Indrajit (15 runs) was caught by Krishna on a bouncer ball. In the power play, the team could only manage 32 runs for two wickets.

The Rajasthan bowlers kept the duo of Nitish Rana and Shreyas Iyer tied for the next few overs. Rana picked up the run-rate against Ashwin in the 11th over by hitting two fours and a six.

Shreyas then hit a six against Chahal but in the 13th over, Boult took a brilliant catch from Samson and showed him the way to the pavilion.

Rinku Singh hit a four as soon as he stepped on the crease. He eased the pressure by hitting a four off Chahal’s first two deliveries in 18 overs after hitting a six off Sen in the 16th over and then a four against Krishna.

The left-handed batsman completed a 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket with a four against Krishna in the 19th over. Rana did the right thing by hitting a six off the first ball of the last over.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, the KKR bowlers bowled tight in the opening over and Umesh took the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal (2 runs) while bowling the third over maiden.

Jos Buttler (22 runs in 25 balls) and Sanju Samson hit fours in the fifth over of this bowler. Samson hit a six in the last ball of the power play against KKR debutant Anukul Roy, taking the team’s score to 38 for one after six overs.

KKR’s bowlers bowled tight against Buttler, who was in fine form, which benefited the Saudis who came to bowl in the ninth over. In the process of hitting a big shot, Butler gave the catch to Shivam Mavi near the boundary.

After this Samson made some good shots and sent the ball across the boundary line but could not increase the team’s run speed much.

Left-arm spinner Anukul showed the way to the pavilion on the first ball of the 14th over to returning to the team, Karun Nair (13). Samson completed his second half-century of the season in 38 balls in the same over while Riyan Parag, who came to the crease, ended the over with a six.

Parag sent the delivery of Southee to the visitors in the 17th over but the very next ball was caught by Anukul at deep midwicket. On the first ball of the next over, Mavi gave a big breakthrough to KKR by running Samson.

Shimron Hetmyer started the 19th over with a six off two balls to increase the run rate. Rajasthan got 20 runs from this over of Saudi. Mavi spent only 10 runs in the last over.