Dominant Knight Riders hands Royals a home drubbing

A clinical show by Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium handed Rajasthan Royals a seven-wicket drubbing at its own backyard.

Rana and Karthik put up an unbeaten 61-run stand to take KKR home.   -  AFP

A clinical show by Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium handed Rajasthan Royals a seven-wicket drubbing at its own backyard in an Indian Premier League match on Wednesday.

The spinners first set up the match for Kolkata by restricting Rajasthan to 160/8 in 20 overs and then Robin Uthappa (48), Dinesh Karthik (42*) and Nitish Rana (35*) finishing off things with seven balls to spare.

Rana was deservedly the Player of the Match for being the pioneer in Kolkata's thumping victory here. After put in to bat, Rajasthan got off to a fluent start, but it was Rana who gave Kolkata the crucial wickets of Ajinkya Rahane (36) and D Arcy Short (44). With the bat, Rana too chipped in by stitching an unbeaten 61-run partnership with Karthik for the fourth wicket to take Kolkata over the finishing line.

Rajasthan vs Kolkata - key highlights

Rajasthan always had the advantage of playing at its home ground and Rahane proved it so by giving his team a flying start in the first six overs without losing a wicket. That was the time, Karthik decided to bring in Rana into the attack and he didn't let down his skipper.

The match then turned in favour of the visitors when Karthik brilliantly got Rahane stumped off Rana's fifth ball. Sanju Samson, the highest-scorer in the last match for the Royals soon fell for seven after being caught by Kuldeep Yadav at deep mid-wicket off Shivam Mavi. With the top two batsmen falling in quick succession, Ben Stokes was expected to fire. But his poor form against the wrist-spinners this season continued, as he got out for 14, becoming Piyush Chawla's scalp.

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After failing to capitalise on the good start, Jos Buttler's 18-ball 24, lower down the order helped Rajasthan to a competitive total.

How they fared

The Top Buy: Rajasthan Royals' Ben Stokes, bought for Rs. 12.5 crore, scored 14 and went wicketless.

The Rookie: 18-year-old KKR pacer, Shivam Mavi, returned with figures of 1-40.

Coming out for the chase, Kolkata lost its big-hitter Chris Lynn for a duck. But the side did not press the panic button with Sunil Narine and Uthappa putting up a 69-run stand for the second wicket. Kolkata was in control of the chase when Narine was run-out for 35, with Uthappa and Rana ensuring of no further slip-up by putting up a 32-run stand.

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Rajasthan's campaign in this season has been hurt by its toothless bowling and in this match too the story remained the same. Krishnappa Gowtham claimed two wickets while pace trio of Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ben Laughlin went wicketless.

On paper, what looked to be a clash of two even teams, turned out to be a lop-sided affair with Kolkata going top of the table after this victory.