IPL: Karthik leads from front as KKR eliminate Royals
May 23, 2018 | 10:15 PM
by Reuters
Kolkata Knight Riders' Piyush Chawla takes a catch off his own bowling dismiss Rajasthan Royals's Rahul Tripathi in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photo - @KKRiders

Kolkata: Skipper Dinesh Karthik's rearguard half-century and astute marshalling of his bowlers helped Kolkata Knight Riders eliminate inaugural winners Rajasthan Royals by 25 runs in a see-saw Indian Premier League (IPL) contest on Wednesday.

Needing 170 to win, Rajasthan got off to a strong start but wheels came off their chase once skipper Ajinkya Rahane (46) and number three Sanju Samson (50) fell.

Two-time champions Kolkata, who restricted Rajasthan to 144 for four, will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier on Friday for a place in Sunday's final against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.

The Rahane-Samson duo added a match-high 62 runs but Rajasthan sorely missed Jos Buttler, back in England for national duty, whose five fifties were crucial to their play-off qualification.

Kolkata's spin twins Kuldeep Yadav (one for 18) and Piyush Chawla (two for 24) were outstanding with the ball, conceding only 42 runs in their eight overs to choke Rajasthan at the Eden Gardens.

Earlier, Karthik led from the front with a fluent 52 and Andre Russell muscled 49 not out to help the hosts overcome a top order collapse and post a competitive 169 for seven.

Rajasthan off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham denied Kolkata a flying start, dismissing Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa in successive overs as the hosts slumped to 51 for four in eight overs.

Karthik's calm presence and prolific run have been crucial to Kolkata's campaign and the right-hander once again shone with the bat to arrest the slide.

He raised 55 precious runs with Shubman Gill (28) to steady the ship but it was West Indian Russell who provided the late assault to take Kolkata past the 150-mark.

The all-rounder belted five sixes in his 49 not out to change the complexion of the match and was adjudged man-of-the-match.


Kolkata Knight Riders

S. Narine st H. Klaasen b K. Gowtham 4

C. Lynn c&b S. Gopal 18

R. Uthappa c&b K. Gowtham 3

N. Rana c J. Unadkat b J. Archer 3

D. Karthik c A. Rahane b B. Laughlin 52

S. Gill c H. Klaasen b J. Archer 28

Andre Russell (not out) 49

J. Searles c J. Archer b B. Laughlin 2

Extras (b-4, nb-1, w-5) 10

Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 169

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-17, 3-24, 4-51, 5-106, 6-135, 7-164 .

Bowling: Krishnappa Gowtham 3-0-15-2; Jofra Archer 4-0-33-2; Jaydev Unadkat 2-0-33-0; Ish Sodhi 4-0-15-0; Shreyas Gopal 4-0-34-1; Ben Laughlin 3-0-35-2.

Rajasthan Royals

A. Rahane c&b K. Yadav 46

R. Tripathi c&b P. Chawla 20

S. Samson c J. Searles b P. Chawla 50

Heinrich Klaasen (not out) 18

S. Binny c C. Lynn b P. Krishna 0

Krishnappa Gowtham (not out) 9

Extras (w-1) 1

Total (4 wkts, 20 overs) 144

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-109, 3-126, 4-130.

Bowling: Andre Russell 3-0-22-0; Prasidh Krishna 4-0-28-1; Piyush Chawla 4-0-24-2; Sunil Narine 4-0-39-0; Kuldeep Yadav 4-0-18-1; Javon Searles 1-0-13-0.

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