IPL 2018: Rajasthan choke at the death and other takeaways as spinners lead Kolkata Knight Riders to victory

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Kuldeep Yadav was the star for Kolkata.

Kolkata Knight Riders brought an end to Rajasthan Royals‘ campaign in the IPL with a 25-run win in the Eliminator clash at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

Made to bat first, the Knight Riders put 169-7 on the board before their spinners turned the noose around Rajasthan’s neck to restrict them to 144-4 in their 20 overs.

With the Knight Riders now through to the second Qualifier against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, we look at the key talking points from their win.


Krishnappa Gowtham has developed a knack of picking up wickets in the powerplay for Rajasthan this year. The leading wicket-taker amongst spinners in the IPL with six scalps before Wednesday, the 29-year-old further cemented his status with two more big wickets at the Eden Gardens.

Opening the bowling for Rajasthan, Gowtham was thrashed for a boundary by Sunil Narine in his very first delivery but bounced back immediately to dismiss the West Indies man in the next ball. Seeing Narine shape to step out of his crease, the off-spinner fired it quick and short as Heinrich Klaasen executed an excellent stumping behind the crease.

With the first delivery of his next over, Gowtham dismissed the dangerous Robin Uthappa. The batsman closed his bat-face too early to present a straightforward return catch for the bowler as Kolkata got off to a disastrous start.


Despite Kolkata losing its top-order in no time, skipper Dinesh Karthik resurrected the innings with a captain’s knock. He found able support in Shubman Gill first and later with Andre Russell as he struck a 35-ball half-century.

However, it was the lusty blows dealt by Russell’s bat that powered the Knight Riders to a commanding total. The tall Barbados all-rounder stuck five huge sixes and three boundaries in the death overs as he changed gears for the hosts.

He remained unbeaten on 49 runs off just 25 balls and his innings had seen the Knight Riders amass 87 runs in the final seven overs of the innings.


A chase of 170 can always be a tricky one but Rajasthan openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi got off the side to a great start without taking too many risks. While Tripathi’s dismissal brought an end to a 43-run stand between the openers, skipper Rahane continued to motor along at a fine click.

Rahane has had a mixed bag with the bat so far in the tournament but on Wednesday, he played his surest innings of the season yet as he played the anchor role to perfection.

He found some able support from Sanju Samson who also found some form finally as Rajasthan raced away to 90-1 at the end of 11 overs.


Rahane’s innings and a strong start from Sanju Samson had powered Rajasthan to 90-1 at the end of 11 overs with victory looking a certainty as Kolkata’s shoulders started to drop. Then, the hosts’ spinners took charge as all of a sudden the batsmen found run-scoring tough.

With the ball gripping massively, the run-rate fell drastically as Rahane and Samson both struggled to time the ball against Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. Both the batsmen ultimately fell to the spinners as the scoreboard pressure increased. By the time Narine and Kuldeep were done with their spell, Kolkata had seized complete control of the match.

From 90-1 in 11 overs, Royals ended up at 127-3 at the completion of the 17th over and that left too high a mountain for the remaining batsmen to climb. It was in this period that the Royals completely throow away their advantage as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

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