Knight Riders lose to Rajasthan Royals after a dramatic collapse
Leg spinner Pravin Tambe struck the first hat-trick of the season and skipper Shane Watson picked up three wickets to script Rajasthan Royals' 10-run sensational win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) match at their newly adopted home, the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here Monday.
After a 121-run stand between openers Robin Uthappa (65) and Gautam Gambhir (54), Knight Riders suffered a dramatic batting collapse losing six wickets for two runs and could muster only 160 for six in 20 overs while chasing a target of 171.
Knight Riders also became the first team in the history of IPL to lose a match after scoring a century-run stand while chasing a target.
It seemed Knight Riders had the match in their grasp as they were cruising at 121 for no loss in the 15th over. They needed 49 runs from 35 balls as both Gambhir and Uthappa were going great guns. Gambhir smacked six fours and a six in his 34-ball whirlwind knock while Uthappa hit three sixes and five fours during his 52-all stay.
But Gambhir's dismissal triggered a batting collapse as Knight Riders lost six wickets for just two runs and were suddenly reduced to 123 for six.
First it was the triple strike from Watson in the 15th over when he got rid of Gambhir, Uthappa and Andre Russell (1) in five balls to reduce Knight Riders to 122 for three
In the next over, the 42-year-old Tambe picked up his maiden hat-trick in just two legal balls.
Tambe had Manish Pandey stumped by Saju Samson with a wide delivery in the first ball and then took a good catch off his own bowling to get rid of Yusuf Pathan. He completed the hat-trick by dismissing Ryan ten Doeschate with a tossed up delivery that hit the Dutchman's toe for him to be adjudged lbw.
The Knight Riders failed to recover from the deadly blows and it was Shakib-al Hasan's unbeaten 21 in 14 balls that helped them reduce the deficit.
Earlier put in, an impressive batting performance by the top-order took Rajasthan Royals to a competitive 170 for six in 20 overs. Opening batsmen Ajinkya Rahane (30) and Karun Nair (44) set the stage with their quickfire 52-run stand in 39 balls.
Rahane struck three fours and a six in his 22-ball knock and was run out in the seventh over with a direct hit from Sunil Narine. Nair and Sanju Samson (37) were then involved in a crucial 53-run stand for the second wicket. The duo not only stole the singles but also ensured that the boundaries kept flowing.
A smart piece of bowling by Shakib (1/25) broke the partnership. Shakib saw Nair coming down the track and fired it full outside the off-stump with the batsmen stranded in the middle of the pitch and wicket-keeper Uthappa did the rest.
Watson then launched a late onslaught with his 31 off 20 balls hitting two fours and two sixes to take them to 170.
Narine was again impressive with his two for 28 while Vinay Kumar conceded 42 runs for two wickets from his four overs.
(Posted on 05-05-2014)
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