Jaipur, Apr 8: Rajasthan Royals outplayed their opponents Kolkata Knight Riders in all the aspects of the game as they won by 22 runs in the seventh match of the fifth edition of IPL played at Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday.
[Scorecard: Game Seven, Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Rajasthan Royals]
Batting woes continued to torment Kolkata Knight Riders as the team's top order faltered yet again as they lost 3 wickets for 8 runs. With Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan's partnership, the team reached 60/4 in 10 overs.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir was out for a duck off the first delivery he faced, while Jacques Kallis who opened the innings was out for 5. Amit Singh successfully dismissed both batsmen while Brendon McCullum (2) disappointed as the top order failed badly for the second consecutive time.
Tiwary fought the battle alone as he scored 59 (49 balls, 7x4) and was the last man out in the final ball of the match. His knock included five boundaries but did not get assistance from the other end as wickets tumbled as Royals bundled out KKR for 142.
Brett Lee's knock came to an end as Cooper's delivery rattled the stumps to break the most threatening partnership which lasted 38 runs (22 balls).
Though Lee and Tiwary tried hard to reach close to the target but the required run rate had gone past 18 runs per over.
With 31 runs required off the last over, KKR were bowled out for 142 as Rajasthan registered their second win in the fifth edition of IPL.
Amit Singh was fantastic as he claimed two wickets off the last two balls of his first over, while Ankeet Chavan, who returned to get rid of McCullum in the first ball of the third over. Eventually it was a hat-trick for the team as they got wickets of the 5th, 6th ball of the first ball of the third over.
With 7 wickets in two matches, Cooper is the leading wicket-taker in the fifth edition of IPL. Cooper changed the course of the game as he got 3 wickets for 28 runs, while Chavan and Amit Singh both claimed two wickets each.
Rajasthan have never lost in Jaipur after scoring more than 160. They proved it yet again as they defended the score and won comprehensively as KKR couldn't put up a fight right from the start of their innings.
First Innings Report: Riding high on Brad Hodge and Menaria's knocks, Rajasthan Royals post a decent total of 164/5 in their 20 overs. Kolkata Knight Riders need 165 to win at 8.5 runs per over.
Kolkata Knight Riders coudn't have asked for a better start, as Rajasthan Royals' openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid were unlucky to be run-out very early in the innings as the team was in trouble after they were reduced to 68/3 in 10 overs.
The first five overs were good for Rajasthan Royals as they managed to get a decent partnership after losing Rahane in the second over as they had added 28 runs within 21 balls.
Later it was Rahul Dravid's turn to hit the ball hard as he sent two deliveries to the stands.
Rahane, who scored 98 in their opening match against Kings XI Punjab, was very unfortunate today as he was sent back by Dravid after reacting late to the call, to fall short by a few metres as Gambhir's direct hit had rattled the stumps as umpire declared him out.
Dravid's knock came to an end, as he was run-out, falling short by a few metres from the crease as Iqbal Abdulla passed on the ball to Bhatia who removed the bails. The dismissal brought an end to a wonderful innings by Dravid. He had scored 26 off 24 balls which included 2 huge hits and 2 boundaries.
Brad Hodge and Ashok Menaria added 64 runs for the 4th wicket off just 45 balls more than 8 runs per over, marking their best partnership of the match before Brett Lee broke the partnership.
The 37 year old Hodge is the leading run-scorer in T20 cricket as he has scored 4291 runs in 146 matches. Alongwith Menaria, Hodge escalated the momentum as he hit 3 boundaries and 2 sixes while Menaria supported him thoroughly.
Owais Shah also played a magnicent knock to help the team reach 164/5 at the end of 20 overs.
With a win here, Rajasthan Royals have started their fifth season of IPL with style, clearing aiming at the title.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Johan Botha, Ashok Menaria, Brad Hodge, A Chavan, Owais Shah, Shrivats Goswami (wicket-keeper), Kevon Cooper, Amit Singh, Siddarth K Trivedi
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Brendon McCullum (wicket-keeper), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, R Bhatia, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Debabrata B Das, Sunil Narine
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Vineet A Kulkarni
TV Umpire: Shavir Tarapore
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)