IPL 2018, Eliminator, KKR vs RR: Sanju Samson's wicket is SK Turning Point of the match
A side is chasing 170 runs in 20 overs. They are poised beautifully after 14 overs of the game, batting at 109-1, requiring 61 runs off the last 6 overs. Nine times out of ten, they get to the total with ease, sometimes with more than an over to spare.
However, to the delight of Kolkata Knight Riders and their fans, the Rajasthan Royals faltered from that very position in the eliminator of IPL 2018 at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday (May 23), losing to the hosts by an enormous margin of 25 runs at the end of 20 overs.
The Royals batted well for a majority of the innings, laying the foundation for their finishers to come into the middle in the last five overs of the game and take their team home on the day. Sanju Samson was well set after scoring a 50 in the game while everything looked on track for him and his team.
However, the right-handed batsman from Kerala fell to Piyush Chawla in his last over of Chawla's spell. His dismissal was the inception of a steep tapering of the RR innings, after which they couldn't recover again, ending up falling short at the death of the chase. Samson's wicket, thus, was the SK Turning Point of the match.
He played well to score 50 runs off 38 deliveries in the innings but threw his wicket away immediately after reaching his half-century. RR could never recover after that, drifting into an abyss as the required run-rate kept escalating with the speed of a rocket.
"It's important to finish the games and we didn't have partnerships towards the end. When I and Sanju were batting, we were looking to play positively. I told him during the second timeout that I will go after bowlers and that you bat through. But unfortunately, he got out. I think overall we played good cricket. Our bowling unit fantastic this season. Need to improve our batting and fielding (going into the next season)," said Ajinkya Rahane at the end of the innings.
KKR will now play the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier of the tournament on Friday (May 25) to decide who becomes the second finalist of IPL 2018. The winner of that game will take on the Chennai Super Kings for the title this season. Despite being a new skipper, Dinesh Karthik's captaincy has been absolutely incredible this year. The wicket-keeper batsman has led his side with tactical awareness and dynamic decision-making throughout this season.
His team is now on a four-match winning streak, and they will be coming up against a side that is on a four-match losing streak in SRH. The second qualifier will also be held at Kolkata, which gives KKR additional advantage going into that game.
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