Dinesh Karthik scored his highest-ever IPL score, but that wasn’t enough for Kolkata Knight Riders to overcome the challenge posed by Rajasthan Royals. Bowlers, especially pacers’ underperformance was one of the reasons for the loss as the visitors scampered to a three-wicket win at the end.
Chris Lynn (1/10): Lynn is lucky to be a part of a team where the rest of the top order's strength is contrasting to his strength and that provides him with the opportunity to unleash the beast in him. However, Lynn, for the prowess, couldn’t live up to it and a bolting inswinger by Varun Aaron castled him to bring Rajasthan their first cheer. It was a brilliant ball, no doubt, but Lynn has just validated it once again that he doesn’t have the same Midas touch that had once made him KKR’s blue-eyed boy.
Shubman Gill (2.5/10): Not for nothing cricket world has so much affection with timing - from a batsman caressing the ball through cover to a fielder timing a one-handed throw to uproot the stumps. Shubman Gill, however, had to face the timing of his arrival at the crease as Aaron was in the middle of a dream spell. A slower ball nipped back to kiss the top of his middle and off stump, eventually sending him back to the hut for a run-a-ball 14. There was hardly he could do against that delivery.
Nitish Rana (3/10): He was lucky in a way as a couple of boundaries moved in between point and cover to give him reprieve but Rana also seemed to be in good mood to hit some runs. When he took his chances against spinners, the turn didn’t help him find connections regularly and after that, the run-rate pressure got onto him to induce an error. Rana could’ve been more patient and understanding considering the fact that the wicket was on the slower side.
Dinesh Karthik (9/10): While the talk of the town was about promoting Andre Russell in the batting order, Dinesh Karthik actually promoted himself to No. 4 which gave huge dividend too. By exploiting both sides of the surface, the KKR skipper ensured that the top-order collapse didn’t have a big impact on the team’s first-innings total and once he was set in the zone, what a sensational knock he played. In the last couple of overs, the balls were more in the space than it was with RR bowlers as DK ended with 97 off 50 balls.
Sunil Narine(7/10): The idea of holding Sunil Narine back was to tackle Shreyas Gopal and Riyan Parag in the middle overs, but the top order collapse exposed him a bit early. Although the all-rounder hit a six and a four to get going, a miscommunication with Dinesh Karthik resulted in Ajinkya Rahane and Varun Aaron making a tag-team effort to send him back for 11. His bowling further resulted in a couple of wickets and that would give him a good rating tonight.
Andre Russell (1/10): Well, let’s face this. Russell faced 14 deliveries and scored only 14 off it. In between that, he had already been dropped twice. If there ever was a boring Russell innings, Rajasthan Royals were the proud holder of that badge. The slowness of the surface was the major reason as the Carribean all-rounder held onto his conventional thinking of shuffling across to hit it on both sides of the wicket. However, as the ball came slowly on to the bat, most of them ended up beating his edge.
Rinku Singh (5/10): Rinku Singh was not given the privilege to bat at No.4 this time, as DK promoted himself up in the order, but the Uttar Pradesh lad would’ve loved to get some batting time tonight. Russell’s early dismissal gave himself a chance to unleash some of his strokes, but Karthik kept the strike with him until the last over, which means Singh had to be satisfied with a three-ball three.
Carlos Brathwaite (3/10): The West Indian got a big break in the last game, but he has underperformed to the core and that continued to Eden as well. A three-ball five was followed by an uninspiring display with the new ball, where he gave away 16 runs in a couple of overs.
Piyush Chawla (9/10): Chawla was the star tonight. After Dinesh Karthik led KKR to a comfortable total of 175, it was up to the bowling unit to deliver. More than anyone else, Piyush Chawla rose up to the occasion and picked up as many as three wickets to break Royals’ back. Ended with a spell of 3/20 and that just underlines the fact how much of dirty work he had to do over the years for the Kolkata-based franchise.
Yarra Prithviraj (1/10): The first time I saw the Andhra pacer bowl was against Jharkhand in the last Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where his terrific last over resulted in Jharkhand’s heart-breaking loss. If that was the template, Prithviraj was nowhere close to what should’ve been an ideal figure for a pacer as he conceded as many as 28 runs in a couple of overs. His fielding has also left a lot to be desired for.
Prasidh Krishna(1/10): When there will be dusk, Prasidh Krishna will fill his glass with Filter Kappi and reflect on his life. What a terrible fall it has been! Conceding 43 runs in 3.2 overs wasn’t in the realms of expectations for the man who had been their lead bowler last night.
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