IPL 2020: Morgan, Cummins keep KKR on course, RR exit

IPL 2020: Eoin Morgan scored a career best 68 not out while Pat Cummins claimed 4/34 to help Kolkata Knight Riders register a 60-run win against Rajasthan Royals to knock them out of Indian Premier League 2020.
IPL 2020: Eoin Morgan registered his highest IPL score.(IPL/Twitter)
IPL 2020: Eoin Morgan registered his highest IPL score.(IPL/Twitter)
Updated on Nov 01, 2020 11:53 PM IST
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New Delhi | By

Some decisions defy logic. Like Kolkata Knight Riders’ accomplished, World Cup-winning limited-overs specialist skipper Eoin Morgan not coming in to bat at No. 4. Some make perfect sense. Like Rajasthan Royals opening the bowling and batting with Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, the best in the business.

Both stuck to their guns in Dubai on Sunday. Archer pricked KKR early, putting brakes on their innings before Morgan got down to fixing it with a controlled but scintillating 35-ball 68 not out. In reply, Rajasthan Royals scored 19 runs off the first five balls of their innings—the most expensive this IPL—before losing half the side within five overs. The Royals couldn’t recover from that blow as KKR won by 60 runs to reach fourth on the points table and stay in contention for the playoffs.

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Despite the overwhelming temptation to credit Morgan for KKR’s must-needed win, it wouldn’t have been possible without Dinesh Karthik’s outstanding wicket-keeping—lunging to his left to hold on to the ball by the edge of his glove’s webbing just when Stokes was threatening to cut loose. That and Steve Smith chopping Pat Cummins on to his stumps four deliveries later meant Royals had to dig deep without their top batsmen.

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That wasn’t to be. Sanju Samson lived up to his unpredictability, nicking Shivam Mavi to Karthik next over before Jos Buttler cleared his leg and sent a quicker delivery from Varun Chakravarthy down the throat of Cummins at deep midwicket.

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It allowed KKR’s slow bowlers to turn the screws on the chase, eking out a fairly chunky win that might help their cause if the race to the top four boils down to net run rate. Or they could just send Morgan up the order. Though Cummins’s stock rose as No.8, Morgan deserves to bat with the middle order, not just Andre Russell and the tail. But that’s just how they have operated over the years. In the quest to become an effective bowling unit, KKR have often not been strategic enough with the bat. It won’t matter as long as it fetches results.


    Somshuvra Laha is a sports journalist with over 11 years' experience writing on cricket, football and other sports. He has covered the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, cricket tours of South Africa, West Indies and Bangladesh and the 2010 Commonwealth Games for Hindustan Times.

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