Kolkata, Apr 13: It was a low-scoring game. The batsmen were tested to the hilt. It was the bowlers who dominated. And in the end, Kolkata Knight Riders came on top at the Eden Gardens.
[Scorecard: IPL 5: Game 15: Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Rajasthan Royals]
IPL 5: Results, Points Table, Orange And Purple Caps
One man, who stood out in Game 15 of IPL 5, was Shakib Al Hasan. His all-round performance was the key in Kolkata"s five-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals on Friday night. Shakib won the Man-of-the-match award.
Even though Kolkata were in pursuit of just 132, it was not an easy task to complete the chase. They triumphed in the final over with four balls to spare. Ryan ten Doeschate gave Kolkata their second success in as many matches with a six off left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan in the 20th over. It was also a sweet revenge for Gautam Gambhir-led outfit as they had gone down to Rajasthan a few days back in Jaipur.
With this win, Kolkata moved up to the fourth place in the points table. Rajasthan, after having started off with two consecutive wins at home in Jaipur, have now lost two out of two. Rahul Dravid's side are in fifth position.
Shakib, first took 3/17 in four overs to strangle Rajasthan batsmen. He came out to bat at number five and contributed a crucial 10-ball 16 with one hit to the boundary and one over it.
The foundation for the chase was laid by openers Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis. The South African topscored in the innings with 31. Manvinder Bisla and Manoj Tiwary kept the team on track in the middle overs and they won with five wickets remaining.
Rajasthan Royals Innings Report
On a difficult surface, Rajasthan Royals were kept to 131/5 in 20 overs by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Scoring was not easy on this 22-yard strip. It made life difficult for the batsmen. It was a slow pitch which assisted the spinners. In 11 overs of spin, Kolkata conceded 58 runs and captured four wickets.
It would be an interesting chase as the Kolkata batsmen will have their task cut out. Rajasthan have three slow bowlers in Johan Botha, Ankeet Chavan and Brad Hogg. Brad Hodge and Ashok Menaria can also bowl spin.
Rajasthan was helped by a big final over where they got 15 overs, thanks to a six by Hodge. The final over was bowled by Lakshmipathy Balaji. Owais Shah top scored with 31. There were only two sixes in the innings.
Shakib Al Hasan was brought into the attack in the seventh over and he struck immediately. He dismissed Ajinkya Rahane as the opener edged the ball to wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla. An opening stand of 45 runs was broken.
From 45 for no wicket Rajasthan fell to 49/3 in 8.2 overs. After Rahane"s departure number three batsman Ashok Menaria was run out. He was soon followed by captain Rahul Dravid as Shakib struck agin.
Shah and Shreevats Goswami made slow progress before the latter was consumed by Shakib for his third victim of the night. The left-arm spinner enjoyed the turning track at the Eden Gardens. The Bangladeshi finished his bowling duties for the night with 3/17 in 4 overs. Excellent stuff it was from the all-rounder.
Offspinner Sunil Narine deceived Shah with a ball that spun away from the batsman. The English batsman had charged out of his crease only to miss the ball and was stumped. Narine finished with 1/22 in 4 overs.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat first.
Both teams made one change each. Rajasthan brought back Brad Hodge for Kevon Cooper, who is injured. Kolkata dropped Brett Lee for Sunil Narine.
These two teams have already met this season. It was in Jaipur and Rajasthan won that game. Kolkata will be aiming to avenge that loss.
Kolkata are coming into the match in the back of a win while Rajasthan arrive in Kolkata after being beaten by Mumbai Indians on Wednesday night at the Wankhede Stadium.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla (wicketkeeper), Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Sunil Narine.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Owais Shah, Ashok Menaria, Johan Botha, Ankeet Chavan, Brad Hogg, Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi, Brad Hodge.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Sudhir Asnani (India)
Third Umpire: Subrat Das (India)
Match Referee: Graeme Labrooy (Sri Lanka)