IPL 2018 | Match 58 | KKR vs RR: Kolkata Knight Riders defeated the Rajasthan Royals by 25 runs in the IPL Eliminator match last night at Eden Gardens. RR is now officially out of the tournament as KKR prepares for the next step – the Qualifier 2 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

RR had won the toss and opted to bowl. KKR opened with Sunil Narine (4) and Chris Lynn (18). Jofra Archer (2/33) and Krishnappa Gowtham (2/15) restricted their opponents to 46 for three wickets in the power-play. Narine fell to Gowtham on the second delivery of the innings. His replacement, Robin Uthappa (3) was also taken down by Gowtham an over later. Nitish Rana (3) was then dismissed by Archer in the over after that. This was KKR’s worst start in a match this season. KKR’s top four batsmen were down before the mid-innings. 

Dinesh Karthik came in and saved his team from collapsing with a 38-ball 52 laced with four fours and two sixes. During his cameo, Chris Lynn (18) was caught in Shreyas Gopal’s fire in the eighth over.

Shubman Gill (28) formed a partnership with Karthik to add 55 runs in 38 balls and kick-started the big hits with the first six in the match in the fourteenth over. 

KKR was at 63/4 by the mid-innings. After Gill’s dismissal by Archer, Andre Russell (49) came in and pushed the score to 169 for 7 by the end of KKR’s innings. Karthik was taken out during a crucial period by a catch caught by Heinrich Klaasen off Ben Laughlin (2/35). 

Jaydev Unadkat disappointed as he finished with a figure of 0/33 in two overs.

With 170 as a target, KKR comfortably restricted RR to 144 and won the match, which was unfortunate as all three of RR’s top batsmen did perform last night.

Ajinkya Rahane (46) and Rahul Tripathi (20) opened to give a brilliant start to RR’s innings, adding 47 runs in the first five overs. So by the end of the powerplay, the team had 51 runs on the board with no loss. 

Tripathi was the first to go but not before he smacked two sixes off Sunil Narine’s first over. Narine ended up conceding 39 runs in his four overs and did not shine last night. Chawla dismissed Tripathi in the final over of the powerplay. 

Sanju Samson (50) who has been out of form in the last few matches made a comeback last night with his 38-ball 50 laced with four fours and two sixes. His partnership with Rahane pushed the score to 87 for 1 by mid-innings. They passed the 100-mark in the thirteenth over. 

Rahane then gave up his wicket to Kuldeep Yadav in the first ball of the death overs after his knock of 46 runs off 41 balls laced with four fours and one six. Things got worse for RR as Sanju Samson also fell two overs later to Chawla, leaving a difficult target of 43 runs off 18 balls to achieve. 

In the next over, Prasidh Krishna (2/28) dismissed Stuart Binny (0) who came in to replace Samson and conceded only 3 runs in that over. With 40 left off of the last two overs, RR could only manage 15 more runs with Heinrich Klaasen (15) and Krishnappa Gowtham (9) as they ended their ride in the tournament this season. 

RR almost seemed like they would end up being the winners – that would have been an unexpected turn to the competition but losing those crucial wickets before the death overs gave KKR a way to pull the carpet from below their feet. RR had a very inconsistent season so far starting the tournament on headlines and now ending it with a sour loss but much is to be said for making it all the way to playoffs surpassing the remaining four teams. 

KKR, on the other hand, proved that Eden Gardens is their home ground with another win. This victory is their fourth consecutive win while SRH has had four consecutive losses. Now as they prep for the Qualifiers on May 25th, will their luck at Eden Gardens take over SRH? Or will SRH’s back to form bowling spree kick KKR out of the tournament after they made it this far? Watch to find out.

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