IPL 2019: Riyan Parag, Varun Aaron shine as Rajasthan Royals take down Kolkata Knight Riders
Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets in Kolkata on Thursday.Updated: Apr 26, 2019 08:39 IST
Dropped on zero by Sunil Narine off his own bowling, teenager Riyan Parag hit the Achilles Heel of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): pace bowling. He fell in the most anti-climactic of fashions, being hit wicket but by then, the teenager had done enough. Jofra Archer then helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) escape to victory by three wickets. ((Full Scorecard))
Parag made 47 (31b; 4x5, 6x2) and his 44-run seventh wicket stand with Archer sent KKR to their sixth successive defeat, one that means the team in pink has all but given the Knight the pink slip as far as the playoffs are concerned.
Crucial to KKR’s effort was how Dinesh Karthik batted. Karthik set up KKR’s score of 175/6 with his highest score in the Indian Premier League (IPL) — 97 (50b; 4x7; 6x9) — and then, seeing pace bowlers’ woes continue, persisted with slower bowlers who took five wickets by the 13th over.
Narine had found his mojo — 4-0-25-2; 15 coming in his last over. Ironically that was when the game may have turned. Piyush Chawla bowled a good spell and after RR got to 50 in the fifth over — KKR were 49/3 after 10 — they struck in tandem. Narine removed Ajinkya Rahane and almost got Steve Smith in that over with a carrom ball but the RR skipper survived by the thinnest of edges.
Then Chawla ‘googlied’ Sanju Samson and RR were 57/2. It was 63/3 with Smith getting his furniture disturbed while trying an across-the-line shot. It could have been 63/4 but Narine dropped Parag on zero.
Karthik showed supple wrists and superb timing after taking seven deliveries to get his first run. KKR were in trouble after the top order had fallen cheaply again. Varun Aaron got the Rajasthan Royals off to a great start with the wickets of Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill.
Karthik broke the shackles against Shreyas Gopal in the 11th over. That went for 25 runs with Karthik hoisting the first ball over square-leg for six. The next was steered late for four and then Stuart Binny, who had a forgettable night dropping Andre Russell on 3, gifted another boundary. The fourth ball was cover-driven for four and Karthik had got into the groove.
He greeted Archer with a flicked six. After Narine was run out, Archer and debutant Oshane Thomas had got the measure of Russell, who was also dropped on 13 by substitute Prashant Chopra, but against Karthik no one had any answer. KKR scored 75 in the last five overs largely because Karthik was flying solo.
First Published: Apr 26, 2019 00:18 IST