Millennium Post

KKR win in style at home

Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens by eight wickets on Friday. Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis steered the Knights home batting brilliantly and seal all two points for the home team.

Earlier, a spin-reliant Kolkata Knight Riders took full use of the sluggish Eden surface to restrict Rajasthan Royals to a modest 132 for six in their must-win Pepsi Indian Premier League match.

Sanju Samson (40, 1x4, 2x6) was the top-scorer for Royals while Shane Watson made run-a-ball 35 as both shared 44-run third-wicket partnership after the visitors were reduced to 27 for two.

Knight Riders, playing with three spinners in Sachithra Senanayake (2/26), Sunil Narine (1/20) and Iqbal Abdulla (1/22), choked the Royals who could not break free with only 30 runs coming in the last five overs.

 In a surprise move, skipper Rahul Dravid dropped himself to No.7 and came to bat with just three balls remaining in the innings. He struck a boundary on the very first ball he faced but it was too late as Knight Riders had the perfect recipe in their effort to stay afloat in the competition.

The embattled Knight Riders went into the match with a three-pronged spin attack, bringing in Senanayake and left-arm spinner Abdulla alongside their trump card Narine.

It’s a ploy that had given them results in the past on the Eden surface and they, once again, relied heavily on their spinners with their batters misfiring. Opting to bat, Dravid too had some interesting strategy up his sleeve when he sent James Faulkner at No.3 after Ajinkya Rahane (6) was foxed by Senanayake in an attempt to step out.

The move, however, did not work as Faulkner (1) was dismissed in the next over with the Royals pace spearhead becoming Abdulla’s first victim.

 Watson remained at the crease as he alongwith Samson re-built their innings with the rookie Kerala youngster showing a positive temperament.

Fresh from a match-winning 63 against Royals Challengers Bangalore, Samson looked in fine nick and made his intentions clear pulling Abdulla over midwicket for a maximum.

 Just when the Royals looked in recovery mode, Knight Riders expectedly brought in their trump card Narine in the 11th over and, as always, the mystery spinner did not disappoint taking the prized scalp of Watson.

Right from the first ball, Narine troubled Watson with his line and length as the Aussie had an anxious outing for four balls before perishing when he was trapped in the middle-stump line.
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