In the match of fluctuating fortunes, it is Kolkata Knight Riders who have escaped and eventually eliminated Rajasthan Royals and booked their place to play in the second qualifying match against Sunrisers Hyderabad to claim a spot in the finals against Chennai Super Kings.
The 169 runs scored by KKR after batting first proved enough to seal the 25 run victory. Rajasthan Royals demonstrated an unfortunate show of batting. Despite having 6 wickets in hand, they fall back from the target, courtesy to slow down batting approach amidst strict bowling from the opposition.
After opener Rahul Tripathi was taken back by the bowler Piyush Chawla, skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson stood for a 62 run second wicket partnership but it cost them more than nine overs that proved fatal at the end.
The last five overs before the final over were shredded only 25 runs by Rajasthan Royals batsmen when the match literally ended before the last over in which the Royals needed to score 34 runs to win.
For Kolkata Knight Riders early in the evening, the ever persistent performer of the season Dinesh Karthik showed the way to recovery and to build up what could be said a competitive total at the end.
The home venue favored no luck for the Knight Riders, the coin smiled to the opposition captain Ajinkya Rahane who sent the home team to bat first.
The eliminator match of the Indian Premier League 2018 began with quick elimination of Kolkata Knight Riders’ top order.
The full house Eden Gardens, cheering up to the throat for their team witnessed stunning decision from Rahane who let his Karnataka off spinner Krishnappa Gowtham to open the account and to his utmost pleasure, the right arm off break bowler brought two vital breakthroughs wasting no time.
Sunil Narine discovered himself being stumped right in the second delivery of the innings followed a jittery caught and bowled by the bowler in his second over of the match – this time it was Robin Uthappa who barely opened up his account, scored 3 off 7.
Nitish Rana and Chris Lyn soon chased the departed batsmen with Lyn crossing the double figure mark among top four Knight Riders batsmen.
Wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik and Caribbean hard hitter Andre Russell hurled down the order, pulled the team from drastic disorder; Karthik fulfilled the half century mark while Russell missed that for a single run.
Facing 38 deliveries and hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes, Karthik stormed into 52 runs, the highest in the Knight Riders’ innings. Meanwhile Russell scored a 25 ball 49 with the help of 3 fours and 5 sixes.
Kolkata Knight Riders will lock horns with Sunriser Hyderabad in the second qualifier on May 25.
Watch Russell’s 49* in 25 balls
Kolkata Knight Riders 169/7 (20 overs)
Dinesh Karthik 52, Andre Russell 49, Shubman Gill 28
Krishnappa Gawtham 2/15, Jofra Archer 2/33, Ben Laughlin 2/35
Rajasthan Royals 144/4 (20 overs)
Sanju Samson 50, Ajinkya Rahane 46, Rahul Tripathi 20
Piyush Chawla 2/24, Prasidh Krishna 1/28, Kuldeep Yadav 1/18
Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by 25 runs.
Toss: Rajasthan Royals.
Man of the match: Andre Russell