In the 43rd match of the IPL 2019, the Rajasthan Royals defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by 3 wickets. Batting first KKR lost their opener, Chris Lynn before opening the account. He chopped on a delivery onto the stumps off Varun Aaron, who came to the playing XI after a long time.
Aaron then picked the wicket of Shubhman Gill too in the 5th over with a slower knuckleball which sharply swung into the batsmen. When Shreyas Gopal sent back the in-form Nitish Rana, KKR were at serious trouble at 42/3.
The skipper Dinesh Karthik made a partnership with Sunil Narine before the latter was dismissed for 11(8). 'Dre Russ' who then came out, started with a six but soon perished off the delivery of his fellow countryman Oshane Thomas. Even though wickets were falling at one end, Karthik was scoring fluently at the other side.
His blitzkrieg in the final 3 overs made sure that KKR posted a respectable 175 within the 20 overs. Karthik remained not out on 97 off 50 balls.
Chasing 176, the openers gave a good start to the Royals as they raced past 50 within the first 5 overs. But with the introduction of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla, things started to turn upside down for the Royals.
They lost 5 wickets in the next 7 overs which pushed them back to 98/5 after 12.3 overs. But the youngster Riyan Parag showed great composure under pressure as he scored runs easily at on end. Shreyas Gopal at No. 7 contributed a quick fire 18 runs off 9 balls, which reduced the target down to 52 off 28 balls.
Jofra Archer came out to bat and swung a few decisive blows against Narine. Parag also joined the party and scored a four and a six off the next over of Prasidh Krishna. An unfortunate hit wicket made way for the young man to pavilion, but he had already made sure that RR was all set to cross the shores.
Archer finished off the game in style with a four and a six off the first 2 balls of the 20th over. The partnership between Parag and Archer garnered 44 runs from 21 balls, which was the game changing moment of the day.
Let us look at the three players who were eligible to recieve the Man of the Match award in this game.
#1 Varun Aaron for his impressive spell of 4-1-20-2
Aaron bowled superbly with the new ball as he scalped the dangerous Lynn in the first over and Gill in the 5th over which gave a clear advantage for the Royals upfront. He was also involved in the run-out of Sunil Narine.
#2 Riyan Parag for his mature innings under pressure
The teenager from Assam showed that he is something the nation will look out for in the future. When wickets were tumbling at one end, he showed no signs of anxiety or pressure. He ended up scoring a match-winning 47 off 31-balls, with five fours and two sixes.
With 18 runs needed of the final 2 overs, the game hung in balance. Parag then sent a delivery over the ropes in the 4th ball of the 19th over bowled by Russell which brought the equation down to 9 required off 8 balls, which was then easily achieved.
#3 Jofra Archer for his last minute cameo and a disciplined bowling
Archer, who was playing his last game in this IPL, first bowled a disciplined spell of 4-0-28-0 and then played a gem with the bat while chasing 176. He scored 27 runs off 12 balls and made the target look easy in the end. His innings included 2 fours and as many sixes.
Archer came down like a thunder over the KKR bowlers. He started with a boundary and a single of the 16th over bowled by Prasidh Krishna and followed it with a huge sixer in the first ball of the next over bowled by Sunil Narine.