A slow start followed by a complete carnage in the last 10 overs from Kolkata Knight Riders looked enough to break the 5-match losing streak. But, it was another forgettable night at Eden Gardens for Kolkata Knight Riders as they suffered a three-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik's inspiring 97*, the highest individual score for KKR since Brendon McCullum's 158* went in vain as Rajasthan Royals chased 175 runs in a see-saw battle.
Earlier, RR skipper Steve Smith won the toss & asked the home side to bat first on a green wicket.
The visitors made two changes and went ahead with Varun Aaron & Oshane Thomas for the first time in Vivo IPL 2019. KKR brought back Prasidh Krishna and Carlos Brathwaite for KC Cariappa and Harry Gurney.
It was a bad start to the innings for KKR. Varun Aaron made use of initial seam and swing as we were down to 32 for 2 in powerplay.
Nitish Rana looked in good touch before mistiming a cut straight to Aaron off Gopal's bowling. KKR were struggling at 49 for 3 after 10 overs. But Skipper DK had other plans to turn it around.
Along with Narine, he scored 25 runs in the 11th over and changed the momentum of KKR innings. DK held his ground and kept the innings' pace going with little contribution from the other end with KKR finishing at 175/6 from 20 overs.
RR had a wonderful start of the chase. After five overs they were 53 for no loss. Narine got the much-needed breakthrough in the sixth with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane.
Piyush Chawla was brought into the attack and he straightaway cleaned up Samson for 22. Narine got rid of Smith in the eighth and KKR were well in for a fight after a bad start.
PC kept the pressure going from the other end and was rewarded in his third over with the dismissal of Ben Stokes. There was no stopping PC and he removed Binny in his last over as well as RR were struggling at 98/5 in 12.3 overs.
The joy of a mini comeback didn't last long as Shreyas Gopal played a brisk knock of 18. Riyan Parag was the last man who got dismissed, but not before taking his team close to the finishing line with a brilliant 47 off just 31 balls.
The job was finished by Jofra Archer as he scored an unbeaten 27 off 12 balls to take RR over the line in his final Vivo IPL 2019 encounter. The spin duo of Narine (2/25) & Chawla (3/20) put the brakes on but the visiting side won the thriller at Eden Gardens.
KKR will play MI next at Eden Gardens on April 28th in a do-or-die clash. The doors to playoff isn’t shut yet and KKR will need to pull things back against a team that has enjoyed a good run against us.
KKR: 175 for 6 in 20 Overs (Karthik 97*, Rana 21, Aaron 2/20)
RR: 177 for 7 in 19.2 Overs (Parag 47, Rahane 34, Chawla 3/20)
RR won by 3 wickets