Kolkata Knight Riders had lost five matches in a row coming into this match. They needed a win to put their campaign back on track. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals needed a win tonight to stay in contention to qualify for the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to field first. The hosts made too many experiments at the top of the order and paid for it. At one stage, KKR were 42/3 in the ninth over and they were in deep trouble. This is where Dinesh Karthik could have done better, he made a mistake by not opening the innings with Sunil Narine.
The KKR captain made up for his mistake by playing an incredible innings. He played cautiously at the start as the focus was on steadying the ship. The right-hander displayed his full array of shots in the death overs as he launched a scathing attack on RR bowlers. He was unlucky to miss out on a century as he was left unbeaten on 97. Karthik gave a fighting chance to his team as they posted a target of 176 for RR.
Chasing the score RR got off to a fantastic start. Ajinkya Rahane was looking good before he was dismissed by Narine in the last over of the powerplay. The visitors suffered a collapse as they lost four wickets for just 25 runs.
When Stuart Binny got out, RR's score read 98/5 and the match seemed to be over. The 17-year-old Riyan Parag was not in a mood to give up as he got support from lower order batsman. Shreyas Gopal played a good little cameo to bring RR back in the game before he was dismissed trying one shot too many.
When Parag got out, he had put RR on the cusp of the victory. Jofra Archer finished the job in the final over as RR won the match by three wickets with four balls to spare. This win means that KKR, RCB, and RR are level on points in the IPL standings. None of these three can afford to lose any match now.
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