Cricket

IPL 2018: KKR thump Rajasthan Royals with an ease, reaches at the top

[caption id="attachment_65738" align="aligncenter" width="580"]DbFWaRdVMAEByhD KKR batsmen played really well against Rajasthan Royals today. Image Source: IPL[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: Two-time Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders registered their second win on the trot as they beat Rajasthan Royals comprehensively by 7 wickets with seven balls to spare at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur today. They have won three matches out of five games and currently holding the top spot in the points table with six points ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad as they have a better run rate.

Chasing a par score of 161 runs to win, KKR was always in control of the chase despite losing Chris Lynn in the first over. Uthappa put up a show that is expected of him, entertaining the crowd with a blazing knock that comprised six fours and two sixes.

Captain Karthik then batted responsibly alongside Rana, taking KKR home comfortably.

Earlier Royals, put in to bat, were not able to build on the start provided by captain Ajinkya Rahane (36 off 19) and D'Arcy Short (44 off 43) after the openers shared a 54-run stand off 41 balls.

The trio of Piyush Chawla (1/18), Kuldeep Yadav (1/23) and part-timer Nitish Rana (2/11) conceded 52 runs in 10 overs, sharing four wickets amongst themselves.

KKR's lead-spinner Sunil Narine had an off-day as the West Indian went wicketless and leaked 48 runs in four overs. Pacer Tom Curran (2/19) chipped in with a couple of wickets towards the end.

The highlight of Rahane's knock was hitting Narine for four consecutive boundaries in his opening over.

His innings ended when KKR skipper and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik effected a brilliant run-out after collecting the ball from in front of the stumps.

Rahane's opening partner Short ended up with his highest score in the tournament so far but it was not one of his fluent knocks. The Australian, used to playing on bouncy pitches back home, later said he is still getting used to the low bounce in his maiden IPL stint.

The in-form Sanju Samson (7) getting out cheaply also hurt the home team which could never get a move-on with wickets falling at regular intervals.

KKR began with the spin from both sides and Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav kept things tights, conceding nine runs in the first three overs.

Rahane welcomed Narine in the next over hitting him for four consecutive boundaries as the over went for 18 runs.

The following over from pacer Shivam Mavi too produced 13 runs, giving the innings a much-needed impetus.

However, Royals did not get a big enough partnership thereafter as KKR spinners continued to control the innings.

An 18-ball 24 from Jos Buttler in the death overs helped Royals get past the 150-run mark.

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