Despite an incredible unbeaten 97 off 50 balls from skipper Dinesh Karthik, the hosts at Eden Gardens suffered a three-wicket defeat to Rajasthan Royals.
Steve Smith elected to bowl having won the toss and an outstanding opening spell from Varun Aaron got them off to a great start when he bowled out both openers Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill, eventually finishing with 2-20.
Karthik, with a little support from Nitish Rana (21), Sunil Narine (11) and Andre Russell (14) anchored the innings and led his side to a score of 175/6, hitting seven boundaries and nine sixes during his best-ever IPL knock.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 34 off 21 deliveries got the Royals’ chase off to a fine start while opening partner Sanju Samson chipped in with 22 as well. However, their top order was quickly ripped through by spinners Narine and Piyush Chawla.
Riyan Parag’s 47 from 31 balls proved to be a match-winning innings. Unfortunately for the 17-year-old, he was unable to be there at the end after getting out hit-wicket in the penultimate over.
Nevertheless, Jofra Archer, who leaves to join the England squad beyond this match, finished the job and remained unbeaten on 27 off 12 balls.
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