By BV Swagath
Rajasthan Royals prevailed over Kolkata Knight Riders on a higher boundary count after two ties – first in the main match and second in the Super Over couldn’t decide the winner. Match 19 at the Sheik h Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi saw the first tied match in IPL 7.
Batting first, Rajasthan Royals worked hard to score 152 for 5. Opener Ajinkya Rahane anchored the innings with a knock of 72 from 59 balls with 6 fours and a six. Skipper Shane Watson contributed 33 from 24 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders in their run chase were anchored by Skipper Gautam Gambhir who after three ducks and a score of 1 managed his best of IPL 7 scoring 45 from 44 balls. Gambhir’s slow batting created massive pressure on the rest of the batsmen.
KKR bounced back in the game thanks to the cameos from Suryakumar Yadav (31 from 19 balls) and Shakib Al Hasan (29* from 18 balls). Birthday boy James Faulkner turned the match in Rajasthan Royals’ favour by bowling three dot balls in a row in the 19th over besides taking the wickets of Robin Uthappa and R Vinay Kumar in consecutive deliveries.
KKR needed 12 runs to win from the final over bowled by Kane Richardson which was reduced to three to get from the last ball. Shakib Al Hasan managed to get a couple of runs from long off to tie the game.
In the Super Over, KKR batting first scored 12 runs off Faulkner and Rajasthan Royals got the same number of runs against Sunil Narine. In the final ball of the run chase, Rajasthan needed three to get and Steven Smith the man on strike was happy to collect a couple of runs through extra covers as he knew that Rajasthan Royals was ahead on the boundary count (4s and 6s). James Faulkner was declared as the Man of the Match.
Toss and Teams: Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to bat first in Match 19 against Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi in IPL 7. The Royals have made two changes with Iqbal Abdulla and James Faulkner replacing Abhishek Nayar and Tim Southee. KKR have made two changes Shakib Al Hasan and Manvinder Bisla replacing Chris Lynn and Yusuf Pathan.