Buttler Century Secures Nail-biting Victory for RR

RR topped the table with this win, having won six, lost one and obtained 12 points. KKR is in the second spot, with four wins and two losses, giving them eight points…reports Asian Lite News

A sensational century from Jos Buttler and fiery cameos from Riyan Parag and Rovman Powell helped the Rajasthan Royals (RR) secure a pulsating two-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.

RR topped the table with this win, having won six, lost one and obtained 12 points. KKR is in the second spot, with four wins and two losses, giving them eight points.

In the run chase of 224 runs, Rajasthan Royals was off to a decent start. Yashasvi Jaiswal hit Mitchell Starc for two fours and Vaibhav Arora for a six, but was caught by Venkatesh Iyer for 9-ball 19. Harshit Rana took his first wicket. RR was 22/1 in 1.5 overs.

Skipper Sanju Samson was the next up on the crease. The captain was looking good, smashing Vaibhav for two successive fours in the mid-on and mid-wicket region. However, he was trapped by Harshit Rana, who got him caught for 12 runs in eight balls with two fours. Sunil Narine got the catch at mid-on. RR was 47/2 in 4.2 overs.

50-run for RR was raised in 4.5 overs.

Riyan Parag and Jos Buttler ended RR’s powerplay on a high. They got 23 runs from Vaibhav’s over as Parag hit him for two fours and a six and Buttler launched him for a six over long-on. At the end of six overs, RR was 76/2, with Parag and Buttler unbeaten at 20* each.

Parag saved more beating for Rana, launching him for two sixes and a four. But the pacer got the last laugh as he got him caught by Andre Russell at deep midwicket for 34 in 14 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes. RR was 97/3 in 7.5 overs.

100-run was up for RR in 8.2 overs. Jurel was trapped leg-before-wicket by Narine for just two, continuing his poor IPL run. RR was 100/4 in 8.4 overs.

Halfway through the innings, RR was 109/4, with Buttler (32*) joined by Ravichandran Ashwin.

Just when Buttler and Ashwin started rebuilding, Varun Chakravarthy’s 13th over proved to be a game-changer. He first got Ravichandran Ashwin caught by Angkrish Raghuvanshi for just eight in 11 balls and Shimron Hetmyer caught by Shreyas Iyer at cover region in two balls. RR was 121/6 in 12.1 overs.

Buttler continued to shepherd the chase, bringing up his first fifty of the tournament in 36 balls, with five fours and a six. He smashed Chakravarthy for four boundaries in his 15th over. At the end of that over, RR was 145/6, with Buttler (58*) and Rovman Powell (2*) unbeaten.

Powell’s arrival brought back momentum in favour of RR. First, he hit Russell for two sixes, bringing 17 runs from his 16th over. Later, he bludgeoned Narine for a four and two sixes over long-on and deep square leg. However, Narine had the last laugh, trapping Powell lbw for 26 in 13 balls, with a four and three sixes. RR was 178/7 in 17 overs, needing 46 in 18 balls.

After this, the game became KKR vs Buttler essentially. Trent Boult was run out for a duck. RR was 186/8 in 17.3 overs. Starc ended his spell at 0/50 in four overs and RR needed 28 in the final two overs.

In the next over bowled by Harshit, Buttler smashed two sixes and a four. The equation came down to nine runs in the final over. Buttler reached his second century of IPL 2024 and seventh in the league’s history in just 55 balls, with nine fours and six sixes. RR ended the innings on a successful note at the last ball, with Buttler unbeaten at 107* in 60 balls, with nine fours and sis sixes.

Narine (2/30), Chakravarthy (2/27) and Harshit (2/45) were the pick of the bowlers for KKR.

Earlier, star bowling allrounder Sunil Narine’s blazing 109-run knock powered Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to 223/6 against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 match at the iconic Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

With his ton, Narine became the first cricketer to slam a century and take 100 wickets in the IPL. The Caribbean’s blitzkrieg knock helped KKR give a massive 224-run target to Rajasthan.

After winning the toss, the Hyderabad-based franchise sent KKR to bat first at Eden Gardens. However, Sanju Samson’s decision did not go in their favour, as they failed to take early wickets in the first inning.

Philip Salt (10 runs from 13 balls) and Sunil Narine (109 runs from 56 balls) opened for Kolkata and made a partnership of 21 runs. Salt failed to shine in the game and could smash only one four. However, the English wicketkeeper-batsman’s knock came to an end in the fourth over after Avesh Khan dismissed him.

After the first dismissal, Angkrish Raghuvanshi (30 runs from 18 balls) built up a solid 25-run partnership with Narine, which helped KKR add some crucial runs to the scoreboard.

In the 11th, RR’s Kuldeep Sen came to rescue and removed Raghuvanshi from the crease. The 18-year-old batter slammed 5 fours at a strike rate of 166.67.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer (11 runs from 7 balls) replaced Raghuvanshi and slammed 1 four and six during his time on the crease.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked up his 199th wicket in the IPL after dismissing Iyer in the 13th over.

Andre Russell (13 runs from 10 balls) came onto the crease to replace the KKR skipper. Russell slammed 2 fours at a strike rate of 130.

Meanwhile, Narine’s stupendous knock came to an end in the 18th over after Trent Boult picked up the Caribbean’s wicket. The 35-year-old hit 13 fours and 6 sixes at a strike rate of 194.64. He also became the first KKR player to hit a century at the Eden Gardens in front of their home crowd.

After the dismissal of Narine, Rinku Singh (20 runs from 9 balls) and Venkatesh Iyer (8 runs from 6 balls) took charge and added crucial runs at the end of the first inning.

However, Venkatesh was dismissed by Kuldeep in the last over of the first inning. He could slam just one four.

KKR’s Rinku and Ramandeep Singh (1 run from 1 ball) were on the crease during the end of the first inning.

Avesh Khan and Kuldeep Sen led the RR bowling attack after both players picked up two wickets in their respective spells. Meanwhile, Boult and Chahal scalped one wicket.

Brief score: Kolkata Knight Riders 223/6 (Sunil Narine 109, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 30, Rinku Singh 20*; Avesh Khan 2/35) lost to Rajasthan Royals: 224/8 (Jos Buttler 107*, Riyan Parag 34, Sunil Narine 2/30). (ANI)

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