Rajasthan Royals defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by seven runs in a high-scoring IPL thriller on Monday.
Put into bat, RR rode on Jos Buttler’s 61-ball 103 innings, which was studded with nine boundaries and five maximums, to post a challenging 217 for five.
Sanju Samson (38 off 19 balls), Shimron Hetmyer (26 not out off 13 balls), and Devdutt Padikkal (24 off 18 balls) also chipped with useful contributions.
In reply, Shreyas Iyer blasted 85 off 51 balls and Aaron Finch scored 58 off 28 balls, but KKR were eventually bowled out for 210 in 19.4 overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal was the most successful bowler for RR, claiming five wickets for 40 in his quota of four overs, while Obed McCoy (2/41) snapped two wickets in the decisive final over.
Earlier, Sunil Narine (2/21), Pat Cummins (1/50), Shivam Mavi (1/34) and Andre Russell (1/29 in 2 overs) were among wickets for KKR.
“We went in line with the run-rate from the start thanks to Finch. We could not continue which was bad but it is a part of the game. My plan was to bat till the end,” Iyer said.
Asked if Nitish Rana’s dismissal by Chahal actually became the turning point, Iyer felt that the leg-spinner’s better record in match-ups with Delhi southpaw went his way.
“Yuzi had a favourable matchup against him. Jos started slow but he took off, he manoeuvred the ball well and continued really well,” Iyer said.
Iyer didn’t find dew to be a factor on the day despite 400 plus runs being scored across two innings.
“Conditions-wise, there was not much dew and the wicket was amazing to bat on. The ground has not been good for us but we will look to come back positively,” Iyer said.
For Iyer, the pressure of scoreboard gets the best out of him. “I love pressure. I did not think of what the teammates thought of the score, I wanted to go all in. I thought if they can get it, so can I,” Iyer said.
Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson was all praise for Obed McCoy for bowling a brilliant last over for the Royals.
“The guy doesn’t speak much but gives an impression that he is under control. It was very impressive considering he was making his debut,” Samson said.
While he was effusive in his praise for Yuzvendra Chahal, Samson didn’t forget to praise Ravichandran Ashwin for his doosra that cleaned up the dangerous Andre Russell.
Chahal’s relaxed hattrick celebration pose was inspired from a meme that went viral during the 2019 World Cup in a game, where he was seen relaxing in the sidelines.
“I had to take wickets in this match to change the result. I worked on my bowling. I spoke to the coaches and the skipper. I was planning to bowl full and wide,” Chahal said on his match-turning 17th over that fetched him four wickets. The googly to get Venkatesh Iyer stumped was certainly the most well-planned delivery out of the five.
“My googly was coming out well and sent it down to Venkatesh Iyer, as he would have played my leg-break well.”
On the hattrick delivery, a classical leg break to Pat Cummins, Chahal said that he didn’t want to take chances. “I was thinking of a googly but then I didn’t want to take a chance. Would have been a happy with a dot ball as well on my hat-trick ball,” Chahal said.
Rajasthan Royals: 217 for 5 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 103, Sunile Narine 2/21)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 210 all-out in 19.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 85, Aaron Finch 58; Yuzvendra Chahal 5/40)
(With inputs from agencies)