Royals crush KKR to rise from backside

Mumbai, April 24

Bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the 18th match of IPL-14 tonight to join two other teams on four points, leaving KKR alone at bottom.

Set a modest 134 to win, RR did not need to exert much, reaching the target for the loss of four wickets, with seven balls to spare. RR captain Sanju Samson, the only batting star of a team that has struggled to put runs on the board, remained unbeaten on 42 off 41 balls. Samson’s fifth-wicket partnership of 34 with David Miller (24 off 23) took the team comfortably over the line.

Teen star Yashasvi Jaiswal, playing his first match of the season, got KKR to a good start with a 17-ball 22 with five fours, after England star Jos Buttler was trapped lbw for five by leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Jaiswal fell when he went for a big shot and holed out to Kamlesh Nagarkoti at sweeper cover, making it 40/2. Next man Shivam Dube continued in the same vein, making 22 off 18 balls and adding 45 runs with Samson off six overs, before falling to a googly from Chakravarthy. Earlier, RR pacers combined accuracy and guile to restrict KKR to 133/9, with Chris Morris picking up 4/23 in his four overs. The RR pacers cleverly used change of pace to stifle the KKR batsmen. RR’s pacers conceded only 101 runs in 16 overs and picked up seven wickets.

Morris, the most expensive player ever in the IPL auctions, proved his worth with a four-wicket haul. Jaydev Unadkat (1/25), Chetan Sakariya (1/31) and Mustafizur Rahman (1/22) also were impressive. KKR’s opener Shubman Gill (11) disappointed yet again. In the powerplay, KKR laboured to only 25/1 in six overs as Gill and Nitish Rana failed to force the pace. Rana was the second to go, beaten by extra bounce from Sakariya. — TNS, agencies

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