Royals sizzle and fizzle: After a 25-ball sterility, when Jaydev Unadkat eventually hit Shivam Mavi for a four, the whole stadium cheered. They kept offering pace on the ball, and it kept travelling.
Their task has become all the more hard as their English duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler played their last match of the season last night. From 63/0 around the fifth over mark, the Royals spectacularly lost their way and got bowled out for 142. "Once the wickets fell the pressure mounted on the batsmen and that led to the collapse", Kuldeep remarked.
"Cricket's a amusing game, we all know, but we have to learn from our mistakes and get it right in the one league game we have".
Rajasthan Royals chopped and changed their opening combinations for a month before a rain-affected chase forced them to push Jos Buttler to open the batting. First, he got Ajinkya Rahane out bowled with a loopy googly, and then Buttler was gone for 39 as he miscued a reverse sweep to short third man to one that bounced awkwardly. But I'm not the kind of a bowler who stops the flow of runs. The ball came out off the back of the hand but Binny, unable to pick it up from the hand, was drawn into the drive and missed it completely.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler though won't be there both being called for England Test duty. That, though, is a different story altogether. This is the second occasion where the Queenslander has struck a score at close to a run-a-ball and guided his side home to two points. There were many positives for KKR from that game. But they chose to implode instead. The legendary leg-spinner is the mentor of Royals. The Royals' post-mortem of this game would hold their skipper accountable for the indiscretion. Ask Stokes, and he would nod in the affirmative.
The match will take place at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. To their credit, they did well to choke Mumbai after the flying start they received, but they have been over-reliant on Jofra Archer to get them wickets while conceding few. It was an affront to the chinaman bowler's reputation. Buttler, unlike Rahane, is a natural with regard to playing the shot.
Binny got beaten and Karthik, who was sharp as a hawk behind the stumps, whipped the bails in a flash and left the all-rounder stranded. Stokes' wicket completed a four-wicket haul.
Is Dinesh Karthik among IPL 2018's best finishers? Out of form, Stokes tried to bide his time at the crease here.
Despite being expensive, KKR's Andre Russell stole the show among the bowlers, ending with a spell of 3-41 from four overs. Sunil Narine is a constant threat but is more prone to an off day than ever.
In reply, KKR had a solid start as Sunil Narine scored 21 runs off the first balls off K Gowtham.
Narine gave Kolkata a brisk start when he smashed off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham for two sixes and two fours off the first four deliveries.
Unlike Royals, KKR's top order hasn't been reliant on one or two individuals this season, and once again they had contributions from a number of batsmen in their chase, the most sizable of them being forties from Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik.
With 2 overs remaining, KKR sealed the match and moved just one win away from making it to the playoffs.
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