That's it from us in our coverage of the 49th match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, with Kolkata Knight Riders inching closer to the playoffs with a comfortable six-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals, halting Ajinkya Rahane and company's three-match winning streak. The race to the playoffs is still as hot as ever, with all the teams below SRH and CSK (and barring Delhi Daredevils) still very much in the fray for a spot in the top four.
For now, it's time for me to bid goodbye to you all on behalf of my colleague Shubham. Hope you join us in our coverage of Wednesday's fixture between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
After KKR's crucial win tonight, they have jumped to number 3 but winning the last game is as important.
Dinesh Karthik, KKR captain: They started off brilliantly. Buttler and Tripathi batted really well. Shows our character. (On winning and losing alternately) That's part of IPL. Try and have a lot of bonding sessions and keep the team spirit up. (On Kuldeep Yadav's match-winning haul of 4/20) He's an international quality bowler, and to be fair, he's one of the best chinamen bowler in the world. He puts unbelievable effort in practice, and hats off to him.
Kuldeep Yadav is the Man of the Match for his 4 for 20 in 4 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav: There was a fair bit of pressure. Jos Buttler has been playing tremendously in IPL 2018. You have to motivate yourself as per your strength and basics. In T20 format, you have to change your plans. in T20, you have to plan as per the batsmen.
Job done for KKR. Important two points for them at this business end of the league stage. However, there is no significant improvement in the net run rate. So, they have to win their final game against SRH on Saturday to be assured of a place in the playoffs.
Ajinkya Rahane, RR captain: Think intent was positive. The way Tripathi and Buttler batted, I went in and wanted to carry on the momentum. The batsmen should take responsibility. We got runs on the board. It was important to pick wickets. 170-180 would have been very good. We still have chance. We need to learn and move on. We will miss Jos and Stokes. As a player, happy for Jos that he got picked in Test squad. At the same time, we will miss him.
This is KKR's fifth consecutive win against RR at Kolkata in IPL. RR's only win against them at Eden came in 2008.
After 18 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 145/4 ( Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 41 , Andre Russell 11)
Archer returns to the attack. Russell smokes the ball through extra-cover for a boundary off the second delivery, before Dinesh Karthik, who remains unbeaten on 41 off 31 balls, seals it for the Knight Riders with a four and a six to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to their seventh win of the tournament.
SIX! DK SEALS IT IN STYLE FOR KKR! Pulls the ball over the long on fence to get Kolkata Knight Riders home with two overs and six wickets to spare! KKR 145/4
FOUR! Outside edge off Karthik's bat, and the ball runs away to the third man fence for a four. Gowtham dives near the boundary rope while running to his left, but is unable to prevent the boundary. KKR 139/4
Must credit the Royals competitive nature throughout the tournament and again tonight. Ben Stokes has really put in as had Archer. A bit of luck and we could have had a closer game. Another 15-20 runs could have been the difference. The brittle middle order once again the issue.
FOUR ! Smoked through extra-cover by Russell! KKR 134/4
Jofra Archer returns to the attack.
After 17 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 129/4 ( Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 30 , Andre Russell 6)
Russell slashes the ball over point off the first delivery of the 17th over as Unadkat returns to the attack, with the ball dropping just short of the padded cushion. DK opens the face of his bat, and guides a back-of-length ball towards the third man fence to collect his fourth four. Single off the last ball of the over, with the KKR skipper keeping the strike.
KKR need 14 runs to win off 18 balls.
FOUR ! DK opens the face of his bat, and guides a back-of-length delivery towards the third man fence! KKR 128/4
FOUR ! Slashed behind square on the off-side by Russell! KKR 123/4
Jaydev Unadkat brought back into the attack.
After 16 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 ( Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 25 , Andre Russell 1)
Stokes returns to the attack, and once again highlights his value as an all-rounder, getting rid of Lynn off the second delivery, getting the ball to rise while taking some pace off it. Lynn hits off the toe-end, and finds Anureet at deep point. Stokes appeals for lbw off the third delivery, with RR going for the review after the umpire turns it down, only for it to end in 'umpire's call'. Three off the over, with new batsman Russell getting off the mark with a single.
KKR need 24 runs to win off 24 balls.
Andre Russell's dismissals in IPL – 11:
Against pace – 9
Against spin – 0
Lynn gone with KKR still needing 26 off 28. In terms of strike-rate (107.14), it has been an uncharacteristic knock for the Aussie. Russell has to come out now. Can they finish the game with two overs to spare? Well, they need to.
OUT! Rajasthan finally get a breakthrough, as Lynn slices the ball towards the off side, only to get caught by Anureet at deep point. The partnership's snapped at the 48-run mark, with the umpire calling for the second timeout of the innings right after the dismissal. KKR 117/4
Lynn c Anureet b Stokes 45(42)
After 15 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 116/3 ( Chris Lynn 45 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 24)
Karthik brings out the reverse sweep off the first delivery as Sodhi returns for his final over, with the KKR skipper collecting his third boundary. Lynn looks to sweep, but isn't quite able to adjust to full length delivery, top-edges the ball towards short fine and comes back for a second run. Seven off the over, and KKR are coasting towards the target at the moment.
KKR need 27 to win off 30 balls.
FOUR ! Karthik decides to bring out the reverse-paddle against Sodhi, guiding the ball towards the third man fence! KKR 113/3
Sodhi brought back into the attack in the 15th over.
After 14 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 109/3 ( Chris Lynn 43 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 19)
Archer returns to the attack, and Lynn brings out the square-cut right away, finding the backward point fence on the occasion. Two singles collected off the next four deliveries, before Lynn ends the over with a top-edge that sends the ball flying wide of the keeper and away to the third man fence for a four. 10 off the over. The equation's less than run-a-ball for the hosts now with seven wickets in hand.
KKR need 34 to win off 36 balls.
FOUR! Lynn gets a thick top-edge off a short ball from Archer, with the ball sailing over the keeper's gloves and away to the third man fence for a four! KKR 109/3
Jofra Archer brought back into the attack.
After 13 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 99/3 ( Chris Lynn 34 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 18)
Anureet is handed the ball by Rahane for the 13th over, with 10 coming off it. Karthik and Lynn deal in ones and twos for the first five deliveries, before Karthik carves the ball through extra-cover for a boundary off the last ball.
KKR need 44 to win off 42 balls.
FOUR ! Karthik collects another boundary for himself, carving the ball through the off side for a four! KKR 99/3
After 12 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 89/3 ( Chris Lynn 32 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 10)
Just when KKR were starting to get into the rut of a lack of boundaries, Lynn pulls a back-of-length delivery towards the backward square-leg fence for a four. Six off the over.
KKR need 54 to win off 48 balls.
FOUR ! Lynn pulls a back-of-length ball from Unadkat towards the backward square-leg fence for a boundary! KKR 87/3
After 11 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 83/3 ( Chris Lynn 27 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 9)
Sodhi into his third over, and concedes just three singles off it, including one to Lynn off the last delivery, in which he whips the ball down the ground where the it lands just short of the fielder at long on.
KKR need 60 to win off 54 balls.
KKR have lost wickets at regular interval but thanks to the blistering start, they are never running of the game.
Though three wickets have gone down, but KKR are well placed here. Asking rate is below 7. However, the home side needs to improve their NRR, just getting two points won't serve the purpose I believe.
After 10 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 80/3 ( Chris Lynn 25 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 8)
Unadkat brought into the attack in the 10th over, and concedes seven off it, including a boundary to Karthik off the penultimate delivery.
At the halfway stage in their innings, KKR need 63 to win off 60 balls.
FOUR ! Punched through the off-side by Karthik off Unadkat, as the KKR skipper collects his first boundary. KKR 80/3
Jaydev Unadkat brought into the attack for the first time in the innings.
After 9 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 73/3 ( Chris Lynn 23 , Dinesh Karthik (C) (W) 3)
Sodhi continues from the other end. Appeals for lbw against Rana off the second ball, with Rajasthan successfully overturning the umpire's original 'Not Out' decision by going for the DRS. Captain DK walks out to bat next, and gets off the mark with a single off the first delivery. Five runs and a wicket off the over.
Whenever Karthik has scored 20-plus runs against RR in an IPL match, his team has won seven out of nine matches.
OUT! Sodhi gets the breakthrough, getting rid of Rana by trapping him lbw, although the umpire initially rules it not out. The Kiwi spinner urges Rahane to go for the review, and it turns out to be a successful one for the fielding side as they get three reds on Hawkeye. KKR 69/3
Rana lbw Sodhi 21(17)
After 8 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 68/2 ( Chris Lynn 21 , Nitish Rana 21)
Gowtham returns to the attack in the eighth over, with Rana shuffling down the pitch and lofting the ball over long off for a six. 11 off the over, with the two batters collecting a single off every other delivery.
SIX ! Rana shuffles down the pitch, and lofts the ball over the long off fence for a six! KKR 66/2
Krishnappa Gowtham brought back into the attack after the first timeout.
After 7 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 57/2 ( Chris Lynn 18 , Nitish Rana 13)
Sodhi's introduced into the attack in the seventh over, and concedes six off it, with Rana slashing it towards the backward point fence for a four. The umpire signals for the strategic timeout.
FOUR ! Slashed away behind point by Rana, collecting his second boundary in the process! KKR 57/2
Ish Sodhi brought into the attack in the seventh over.
After 6 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 51/2 ( Chris Lynn 17 , Nitish Rana 8)
Stokes bowls out the final over of the KKR Powerplay, continuing to bowl along tight lines to concede five off his third over. Thanks primarily to Narine's big hitting in the first over, KKR cross the 50-run mark in the Powerplay.
Ok, two down Kolkata and Rana has been sent to steady the ship. Lynn is there but he is looking a bit shaky. RR bowlers are extracting good pace and bounce from the deck. KKR need to be careful here.
After 5 overs,Kolkata Knight Riders 46/2 ( Chris Lynn 15 , Nitish Rana 6)
Archer continues from the other end, and collects a dot off each of the first four deliveries. Rana slashes the ball wide of Samson at cover, and finds the fence to collect his first boundary, before collecting a double off the last delivery. Six off the over.
FOUR ! Slashed through the cover region, just wide of a diving Samson! First boundary for Rana! KKR 44/2
IPL 2018, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens, latest update and cricket score: Archer returns to the attack. Russell smokes the ball through extra-cover for a boundary off the second delivery, before Dinesh Karthik seals it for the Knight Riders with a four and a six to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to their seventh win of the tournament.
Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) will look to outshine one another in their bid to secure a playoff spot when the two sides clash in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Both Kolkata and Rajasthan are on 12 points from the same number of outings and have two more matches to play before the knockouts stages commence. While KKR are placed fourth owing to slightly better net run rate (-0.189), Rajasthan are fifth (NRR -0.347).
A victory for either side may not rubber-stamp their passage to the playoffs but would surely help in the cause going to the final round of fixtures.
KKR take on already-qualified Sunrisers Hyderabad away on 19 May while Rajasthan host Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on the same day.
Rajasthan were slow to get off the blocks and almost put themselves out of reckoning before some individual brilliance from England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler catapulted them back into reckoning.
Against Mumbai Indians on Sunday night, Buttler racked up his fifth consecutive IPL fifty — a feat previously managed only by Virender Sehwag — while his team picked up their third back-to-back win on the spin.
Even a week ago, Rajasthan, who won the inaugural IPL in 2008, were on the verge of elimination. But Buttler’s unbeaten 94 ensured the Ajinkya Rahane-led side not only win but also improve their net run rate by reaching the target of 169 with two overs to spare.
Matching Buttler’s exploits with the bat, West Indian bowling all-rounder Jofra Archer has been in fine form for the Jaipur-based side. In the last game, the 23-year-old removed Suryakumar for 38 and Rohit Sharma for a golden duck in successive deliveries, much like what Andre Russell did for Kolkata against Kings XI Punjab.
Rajasthan would, thus, bank heavily on Buttler and Archer to deliver the goods. Australian opener D’Arcy Short has disappointed Rajasthan, mustering just 116 runs in his seven innings this season, at an average of 16.42.
Skipper Rahane made a good-looking 37 against Mumbai and joined hands with Buttler in an important 95-run stand for the second wicket, but his form too has been a concern, managing single digit scores in his last three innings before this.
Coming to the hosts, Dinesh Karthik and Co. bounced back in style after succumbing to a 102-run defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians.
They defeated Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs by piling up the season’s highest total of 245/6, fourth highest in IPL history. Punjab fought hard riding KL Rahul’s 66 but in the end it was too tall a mountain to climb.
There were many positives for KKR from that game. Karthik continued to lead from the front with a belligerent 23-ball 50 while Sunil Narine smashed a 36-ball 75.
There were important contributions from Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell as well, and end-overs cameos from Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill.
Russell was excellent with the ball too and so was M Prasidh Krishna who grabbed two wickets.
In the head-to-head tally, each team has seen the other off seven times in 16 meetings with two tied games.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R. Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.
RR: Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), D’Arcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: May 15, 2018