The young guns – Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Varun Chakravarthy – starred as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered their second successive win in the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, beating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by runs in Dubai on Wednesday.
After put in to bat, KKR opener Gill, who was coming into this game on the back of a match-winning 70*, made his intentions clear as early as in the second over, hitting a six off Ankit Rajpoot.
While RR had a chance to get their first breakthrough in the third over, Robin Uthappa could not hold onto a catch as Sunil Narine got a reprieve.
Narine opened his shoulders, hitting two fours and a six over the course of the next two overs, but Jaydev Unadkat dismissed the left-hander in the fifth over as RR struck for the first time in the match.
Gill was then joined in the middle by Nitish Rana. The two scored at a brisk pace and added 46 runs together in 31 balls. But Rahul Tewatia, who was introduced into the attack in the 10th over, broke the Gill-Rana partnership as he got Rana out for 22.
Gill was the next man to get out as Smith brought Jofra Archer into the attack for his second spell. The England pacer struck with his first delivery on his return to the bowling attack as Gill departed for a well-made 47.
Andre Russell, meanwhile, went after Shreyas Gopal, clobbering a couple of sixes, in the 13th over as KKR moved past 100. KKR, though, lost their skipper Dinesh Karthik for 1 in the next over as Archer picked his second wicket.
Ankit Rajpoot, then, gave RR the big wicket of Russell. While Russell hammered a six on the first legal delivery of the over, he was caught in the deep by Unadkat on the next ball.
Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins, who joined forces following Russell’s departure, then put up a 34-run stand before Tom Curran dismissed Cummins in the 18th over when KKR had 149 runs on the board.
Morgan and Kamlesh Nagarkoti then added 25 runs in the last two overs as KKR ended their quota of 20 overs, scoring 174.
Needing 175 runs to win, Jos Buttler hit a six in the first over. But KKR managed to strike in the second over as Cummins dismissed his compatriot and RR skipper Steve Smith.
While Buttler played a few shots, including a scoop for a six, KKR ran through the RR middle-order, courtesy the former India U19 World Cup winners – Shivam Mavi and Nagarkoti.
Mavi, in the fifth over, had Sanju Samson caught at mid-wicket after the right-hander mistimed his shot. Mavi, then, struck right after the powerplay as he got Buttler out, caught at short third-man.
Nagarkoti, playing his second IPL games, then joined the wicket-taking party, scalped two wickets in the eighth over. First, he had Robin Uthappa on the pull as Mavi completed a simple catch. The right-arm bowler, then, had Riyan Parag’s wicket as Gill took a fine low catch to reduce RR to 42/5.
KKR, then, introduced Varun Chakravarthy into the attack in the 11th over and he had the better of Tewatia as KKR picked the sixth RR wicket. Narine got his first wicket as Shreyas Gopal was caught behind the wickets.
Chakravarthy then picked up his second wicket after Nagarkoti took an absolute stunner, running in from long-on, he dived towards his left and completed a remarkable catch. Kuldeep, then, picked up his maiden wicket, dismissing Unadkat.
While the wickets tumbled at the other end, Tom Curran put up a fight with the bat to bring up his fifty. But KKR restricted RR to 137/9 to complete a 37-run win.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 174/6 (Shubman Gill 47, Eoin Morgan 34; Jofra Archer 2/18) beat Rajasthan Royals 137/9 (Tom Curran 54*, Jos Buttler 21; Kamlesh Nagarkoti 2/13) by 37 runs