Kolkata Knight Riders mastered another chase as they defeated Rajasthan Royals convincingly by 7 wickets with 6 overs remaining.
With a fourth win in five matches, KKR moved up to the top of the points table. The defeat kept Royals at number 7 with two points after five matches.
Dinesh Karthik earlier won a good toss and decided to bowl first in surprising windy conditions. Harry Gurney made his Vivo IPL debut. He replaced Lockie Ferguson in Knights playing eleven.
Prasidh Krishna gave a perfect start and got rid of Royal's skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the second over. Jos Buttler and Steve Smith built a good partnership of 72 runs for the second wicket but Dinesh Karthik showed smart captaincy and kept more pressure with the spin trio of Kuldeep, Chawla and Narine bowling in tandem.
Chawla finished his spell with 0 for 19 runs in four overs. Narine too went wicketless but bowled with good economy rate of 5.5 runs per over in his four overs.
After good pressure built by spinners, Harry Gurney was introduced for the first time in the 10th over. The over went for just three runs. The Englishmen followed up with an important wicket of Jos Buttler in the very next over after being hit for a six.
Royals paid the price of slow run-rate and could only manage 139 for 3 in their 20 overs. Steve Smith scored 73* from 59 balls, his first fifty since making a comeback to competitive cricket.
During the run chase, Knights were off to a flying start and the talk about a slow paced pitch went for a toss. Sunil Narine and back-in-form Chris Lynn went all guns blazing. The openers scored 65 runs in power play, second best by any team this season.
Luck didn't go with the home team initially. Royals finally got a breakthrough with the wicket of Sunil Narine (47). It was too late for RR to make a comeback. Lynn scored a well-deserved half-century before becoming Gopal's 2nd victim.
In the end, KKR won the match easily with 36 balls remaining and eight wickets in hand, registering the joint-biggest win by wickets margin in IPL this season.
DK’s Knights will play Dhoni’s CSK in Chennai on Tuesday April 9.
RR: 139 for 3 in 20 Overs (Smith 73*, Buttler, Gurney 2/25)
KKR: 140 for 2 in 13.5 Overs (Lynn 50, Narine 47, Gopal 2/35)
KKR won by 8 wickets