Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders’ disciplined bowling performance helped them defend 169 against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL Eliminator here on Wednesday.
Royals who got off to a solid start fumbled towards the end as they fell short by 25 runs. Royals looked on course when they crossed the 100-run mark for the loss of just one wicket, but Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket in the 15th over triggered a mini collapse.
Kolkata will now take on Sunrisers in Qualifier 2 here on Friday. Earlier, skipper Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell revived Kolkata Knight Riders with magnificent batting as the hosts recovered from a disastrous start to post a challenging 169 for seven against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL Eliminator, here.
Sent in, Kolkata had their worst start of the season with K Gowtham (2/15 in three overs) and Jofra Archer (2/33) reducing them to 46/3 inside the powerplay but Karthik continued his sublime form to lead them to safety with a 38-ball 52, containing four fours and two sixes.
After Karthik's departure, Russell came up with his destructive 29-ball unbeaten 49, studded with three boundaries and five sixes. The sixes however were a rarity in the first half of Kolkata innings and it was only in the 14th over Shubman Gill hit the first shot over the ropes in his crucial fifth wicket partnership with Karthik.
Karthik and Gill added 55 runs in 38 balls as the Under-19 World Cup winning youngster Gill impressed with his stroke-making skills en route his 17-ball 28 (3x4, 1x6).
From being 63 for 4 midway into the innings, Kolkata brilliantly stepped on the gas in the second-half, scoring 106 runs in the last 10 overs with Russell in charge of the proceedings.
Jaydev Unadkat, who leaked 33 runs from his two overs, was a big letdown from Rajasthan's perspective as the Ajinkya Rahane-led side could not choke the hosts despite a a sound start....