Yashasvi Jaiswal’s fiery unbeaten half-century and Yuzvendra Chahal’s creditable four-wicket haul propelled Rajasthan Royals to a commanding nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
After limiting KKR to 149 for eight, RR chased down the target comfortably with plenty to spare.
The in-form Jaiswal (98 n.o., 47b, 12x4, 5x6) made a mockery of the target as he played a breathtaking knock, which included 26 off the first over bowled by opposite skipper Nitish Rana. He picked his areas and used his feet admirably to plunder runs on either side and scored his third half-century in just 13 balls to record the fastest IPL fifty.
Even though Jos Buttler was run out early, it hardly made a difference as Jaiswal and captain Sanju Samson (48 n.o., 29b, 2x4, 5x6), dropped on 16, continuing the onslaught to share a 121-run unbroken partnership. It put RR back on winning ways and kept it in the playoffs race.
Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer’s responsible half-century enabled KKR to put up a modest total even as Chahal took four important wickets.
RR fielders’ exceptional showing was the reason why KKR lost its explosive openers Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz in Trent Boult’s consecutive overs inside the Powerplay.
The KKR left-handed duo, captain Nitish Rana and Venkatesh, chose to rotate the strike and added 48 runs.
Chahal broke the partnership when Rana swept to Hetmyer in the 11th over.
Venkatesh (57, 42b, 2x4, 4x6), who hit the ball over the ropes between cover and mid-wicket, hammered R.Ashwin for two consecutive sixes and Chahal for two fours and a six in an over. He got his second fifty before mistiming Chahal and offering a high catch to Boult.
Chahal trapped Shardul Thakur in front in the same over and had Rinku Singh caught at long-off to become the highest IPL wicket-takers with 187 scalps.
The leg-spinner, who showed great control and varied his pace, claimed three wickets in the last five overs. KKR managed only 33 runs losing four wickets during that phase.
The visiting fielders’ marvelous catching and unbelievable ground fielding kept KKR in check.
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