M12 : Gill, Mavi and Nagarkoti star in KKR victory
Stage was set, one side was high on confidence with 2 wins in 2 matches and other was coming after defeating sunrisers comfortably. Everyone was expecting it to be a thriller, but it turned out to be one sided. Kolkata Knight Riders won by 37 runs. The victory margin could be much more but Tom Curran helped Royals to save the pride.
Before this match, 5 matches were held at Dubai, in all those matches team batting first won(2 Super Overs). History says bat first win the match but captains are choosing bowling first and lose the match. Rajasthan Royals captain Steven Smith won the toss and elected to field first. They played their first 2 matches in Sharjah where the boundaries were small and the pitch was too flat. They thought of chasing the target because of dew factor. But runs on the board always matters.
KKR started well with the man in form Shubman Gill played some glorious shots in the powerplay. He showed the class and elegance. His partner struggled in the beginning but shrugged off the slow start with a four and a six off Unadkat. Unadkat did come back and bowled the opener Sunil Narine 15(14). Nitish Rana joined hands with Shubman and took the team score forward with bondary in almost every over. Steve Smith brought their last match hero Rahul Tewatia and KKR lose the wicket of Nitish Rana.
KKR promoted Russell to number 4. Steve Smith brought back Archer to see the back to Shubman Gill 47(34). In the next over Archer removed KKR captain Dinesh Karthik 1(3). Andre Russell did hit 3 sixes during his stay at the crease but plan and execution of Ankit Rajpoot and RR caught Russell at deep point. Rajasthan was looking to choke the KKR innings below 160 but the partnership between Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins proved to be the difference between a par score and above par score. KKR scored 174 for 6.
Once again a target was set for Royals to chase it down. They have Buttler, Smith, Samson, Tewatia in their ranks who chased 224 the other night. But they forgot the ground has changed, the pitch has changed, the boudaries have changed. Dubai has much bigger boundaries than KKR Sharjah. Pat Cummins started with the wicket of Steve Smith. None of the Royals' batsmen was looking to build a partnership. Everyone was seemed in some kind of hurry. Shivam Mavi picked wickets of Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler; Kamlesh Nagarkoti removed Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag. KKR believed in their youngsters and they delivered.
Tom Curran made a valiant effort with 54 off 36 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes, and showed their top order that this pitch is not that bad, you just need to give some time to yourself and then express. Rajasthan Royals scored 137 for 9 in 20 overs and lost the match by 37 runs.