Dubai, November 1
Skipper Eoin Morgan smashed a scintillating 68 off 35 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders produced a superlative batting display to post a challenging 191 for seven against Rajasthan Royals in a must-win IPL game here on Sunday.
Morgan top-notch knock was studded with six maximums and five fours as KKR amassed 59 in last five overs.
Earlier, Shubman Gill (36) and Rahul Tripathi (39) shared a 72-run stand for the second wicket, while Andre Russell had an 11-ball-25 to his credit.
For Royals, leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia (3/25) and Kartik Tyagi (2/36) were the most successful bowlers.
Sent in to bat, Nitish Rana fell for a first-ball duck after he edged a Jofra Archer delivery and was caught behind. But the opener went for a review only to waste it early.
Shubman Gill (36), however, looked in good touch as he blasted three boundaries off Varun Aaron and then sent spinner Shreyas Gopal soaring over the ropes twice.
Rahul Tripathi (39), who looked uncomfortable against pace early on, also got into the act, smashing Gopal for a couple of fours as KKR scored 17 runs in the fourth over.
Ben Stokes then went for 11 runs with Tripathi pulling him for a six in the last ball.
The two batsmen hit one four each off Aaron as KKR scored 55 for one in the powerplay.
Rahul Tewatia then struck twice, dismissing Gill and Sunil Narine (0) to reduce KKR to 74 for 3 in nine overs. While Gill holed out to Jos Buttler at deep mid-wicket, Narine’s miscued shot landed safely in the hands of Stokes at long-on.
In the 13th over, Gopal returned to remove Tripathi, who was caught by Robin Uthappa at deep square leg.
Dinesh Karthik (0) then became the third victim of Tewatia after his inside edge was caught by Steve Smith at short mid-wicket as KKR slumped to 99 for 5.
Morgan then exploded, smashing Gopal for two fours and as many as sixes as KKR piled up 21 in the 14th over and their innings regained momentum.
Russell blasted successive sixes before being sent back by Kartik Tyagi.
In the 19th over, KKR racked up 24 runs off Stokes with Morgan picking up two sixes and a four.
Morgan then ended the innings with another six off the last ball. PTI