Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket turned it around for Kolkata Knight Riders: Kuldeep Yadav | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket turned it around for Kolkata Knight Riders: Kuldeep Yadav

Kolkata Knight Riders put a lot of pressure on Rajasthan Royals after the departure of Ajinkya Rahane and that led them to a 25 run win in Indian Premier League (IPL) eliminator.

cricket Updated: May 24, 2018 10:10 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Kuldeep Yadav,Ajinkya Rahane,Kolkata Knight Riders
Kuldeep Yadav once again dismissed Ajinkya Rahane to get Kolkata Knight Riders back into the IPL eliminator.(AFP)

Twice in must-win games, Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Ajinkya Rahane and that led to Rajasthan Royals (RR) losing their way against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Wednesday’s 25-run win in the IPL 11 eliminator meant this was a third time this season that KKR had beaten RR. (KKR vs RR IPL 2018 eliminator highlights)

“I don’t know, seriously. Yes, it was very important to get that wicket because Ajju bhai (Rahane) was batting well. I didn’t do anything different, just bowled a googly in a good area,” said Yadav. (KKR vs RR IPL 2018 eliminator scorecard)

It was his only wicket of the evening but it came in his last over, one in which Yadav gave away two runs to end with figures of 4-0-18-1. From 109/1 in the 15th over, chasing 170 to win, Rahane’s dismissal triggered a mini-collapse that saw RR being restricted to 144/4. Opening the batting, Rahane had made 46 and was involved in two partnerships; 47 with Rahul Tripathi and 62 with Sanju Samson.

When Samson sent one from Piyush Chawla into the hands of Javon Scantlebury-Searles in the 17th over, RR were staring at a defeat and KKR a turnaround. “Generally, when you have so many wickets in hand and need around 60 in six overs, you are expected to win. But credit to KKR for the way they bowled,” said RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

“We thought 170 was chaseable. And we got partnerships going too. But we needed someone to bat through. Unfortunately, Sanju got out.... we needed to have one batsman who would bat through,” he said.

READ | Andre Russell deserves a lot of credit, says Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane

For KKR, the conversation at the innings’ second time-out was different. “We knew if we could get a wicket we would be in with a chance,” said Yadav.

Till last season, KKR were captained by a man who felt bowlers win you T20 games. Gautam Gambhir’s gone but Dinesh Karthik’s team too believes in that mantra. KKR pulled things back with the ball against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday and RR last week.

On Wednesday KKR didn’t run through RR but, on a pitch aiding spin, conceded only 57 runs in the last 10 overs. Asked why RR didn’t promote K Gowtham but sent Heinrich Klaasen, Rahane said there was nothing wrong in backing a batsman who had done well in the must-win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. If it didn’t work, it was because KKR bowled really well, he said. “We couldn’t get those big sixes in the end,” said Rahane.

That Sunil Narine was the most expensive bowler and yet KKR restricted RR to 144/4 in 20 overs is testimony to how well they bowled. Here too Andre Russell played a crucial part, fronting the pace attack.

With a bit of luck, Russell could have got Rahane off the innings’ first ball but the leading edge cleared the in-field. “It’s good to take responsibility with the ball as well. Especially as a senior player,” said Russell who gave six runs in the 19th over.

Prasidh Krishna had bowled the earlier over, conceding three runs and dismissing Stuart Binny. Krishna had figures of 4-0-28-1. Pace bowling has been an area for concern for KKR but if Russell stays fit and Krishna in this kind of form, they could ask Sunrisers Hyderabad some difficult questions on Friday.