IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders stay alive with huge win, Rajasthan Royals finish last on points table

3 weeks ago 13

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) kept their play-offs alive and in style after crushing Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 60 runs in their final league match of the IPL 2020 season. Kolkata, who were the bottom-ranked team ahead of the match are sitting on the 4th spot in the points table now. Notably, the two-time champions had a chance of grabbing the 2nd spot but the condition for them was to secure a win with a margin of 79 or more runs.

KKR's two overseas and senior players - captain Eoin Morgan (68* off 35) and pacer Pat Cummins (4/34) rose up to the occasion and shined with the bat and ball respectively, to completely dismantle the Rajasthan team, who had walked in the match as favourites.

Coming down to chase a daunting target of 192 runs, RR were off to a flyer as they got 19 runs from the first 5 balls of their innings but there honeymoon period ended after Pat Cummins bowled the final delivery. Trying to clear the boundary rope, Robin Uthappa (6) found Kamlesh Nagarkoti on the backward square leg boundary. The Australian quick and IPL 2020's most expenisve buy returned in the 3rd over and got the highly precious wicket of Ben Stokes (18) on the very first delivery.

The same over saw the departure of RR captain Steve Smith (4) as well. The wrath of Cummins was not even over when young Shivam Mavi dented Rajasthan's run-chase further by getting Sanju Samson (1) in the 4th over. The next over saw Cummins get his 4th victim in the form of Riyan Parag (0). Royals were reeling at 37 for 5 at end of 5 overs.

Jos Buttler and Rahul Tewatia held the collapse finally and stitched a 43-run stand for the 6th wicket. A bigger partnership could have deteriorated KKR's (already neagative) NRR which can be the most crucial component in the next days but cometh the hour cometh the man - Varun Chakravarthy bowled a quick leg-cutter to force Buttler to hurry into his shot and get caught at mid-wicket by Varun Aaron. Three overs later, the mystery spinner struck again and ended Rahul Tewatia's (31) resistance. Tewatia went for the slog but the ball the landed in the gloves of Dinesh Karthik after taking the top-edge.

Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal partnered for 20 runs to devoid KKR from climbing up to the 2nd spot and gathered 20 runs together before the former lost his patience in the 18th over. A KKR win was a mere formality then. Kartik Tyagi departed in 19th over as RR finished at 131/9 in 20 overs.

KKR's batting innings

After asked to bat by Steve Smith, KKR lost their in-form batsman Nitish Rana for a golden duck on the second ball of their innings. The Jofra Archer delivery bounced viciously after he decked it hard as a puzzled Rana poked the ball straight in the hands of wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.

Rahul Tripathi joined Shubman Gill after the dismissal and stitched a 72-run partnership off 49 balls to lay a good foundation for the next batsmen to walk in. Tripathi looked in good nick and took Shreyas Gopal for cleaners in the 4th over before smashing a six each off Ben Stokes and Rahul Tewatia in the 5th and 7th over, respectively. Shubman Gill on the other hand chipped in with frequent boundaries as well.

RR's find of the tournament, Rahul Tewatia dismissed Shubman Gill (36) in the 9th over to bring in Sunil Narine, who departed in the same over. Captain Eoin Morgan walked in at 5th to smash his first of 6 sixes on the 3rd ball of his innings. It was then that Shreyas Gopal got KKR their 4th RR wicket by dismissing Rahul Tripathi (39) on the last ball of 12th over.

Dinesh Karthik was the 2nd KKR batsman to get out on a golden duck on Sunday when Rahul Tewatia hunted his 3rd victim of the evening in the 13th over.

The big Shreyas Gopal over courtesy Eoin Morgan

At the end of 13 overs, KKR were reeling at 100 for 5 and were slowly losing the plot when Eoin Morgan thought of changing the course of the match. The England star charged on leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal in the 16th over and fired 2 fours and 2 sixes on his last 4 deliveries as Kolkata collected 21 from the over.

Andre Russell (25) took cue and showed glimpses of his old self by collecting 25 runs from the next 8 deliveries after costly Gopal over. The big West Indian fell to Kartik Tyagi on the 3rd ball of the 16th over.

Ben Stokes goes for 24 runs in the 19th over

With 2 overs remaining, Pat Cummins (15) and Eoin Morgan decided to make the most out of Ben Stokes' 19th over and aggregated 24 runs from it. Cummins smashed a six over long-on on the 2nd delivery of the over before captain Morgan blasted two consecutive sixes on 4th and 5th delivery. On the last ball of the over, Morgan rocked backed and smacked a boundary through short third man.

The current equations for making it to the play-offs after KKR vs RR clash

* Mumbai Indians with 18 points are sure to finish as the table-toppers in the league stage.

* KKR, who are at the 4th spot now, will have to wait for the results of SRH versus MI clash which will be held on Tuesday.

* Delhi Capitals will face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday and the winner of the match will surely secure play-offs spot.

* If SRH lose against Mumbai, both KKR and loser from the RCB vs DC match will qualify

* If SRH win then NRR will decide the qualifier between the loser of DC vs RCB clash and KKR

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