The Rajasthan Royals (RR) put up a brilliant all-round effort to outplay the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in all three departments and move up the IPL points table. With the win, the Rajasthan Royals now rise 2 places to the 6th spot on the table with 4 points in 5 games. They are now just behind the Punjab Kings, who have the same number of points but a superior net run rate.
The Rajasthan Royals came into the game after being hammered by RCB in their previous IPL 2021 match but showed exemplary confidence with both bat and ball to defeat KKR comfortably in the end. Chris Morris was the pick of the bowlers, picking 4 wickets at a superb economy of 5.75. He was well supported by Mustafizur Rahman, Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya.
The brilliant bowling performance meant that RR managed to restrict KKR to a low total of 133. The chase was led by Sanju Samson, who played the role of anchor and helped stabilize the innings from one end and ensured Rajasthan won the game comfortably in the end.
A quick look at the updated IPL points table after match 18
What does this mean for RR?
The Rajasthan Royals have usually seen themselves at the bottom of the points table throughout the course of most IPL seasons. However, a win against KKR means that the Sanju Samson-led franchise now move to 6th place in the points table with 2 wins in 5 games.
The win also helps boost their net run rate to quite an extent - a factor that plays an important role towards the last stages of the IPL league.
The batting performance of young Yashaswi Jaiswal would also be a big positive for Rajasthan Royals to take away from this game. The franchise will also be extremely pleased with Chris Morris' performances with both bat and ball.
What does this mean for KKR?
KKR now find themselves in serious trouble. Reeling at the bottom of the table with just 2 points and a poor net run rate, KKR will need to seriously buckle up in their remaining games if they are to have an outside chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
KKR have now lost 4 games on the trot and have a poor net run rate of -0.675. Eoin Morgan's performance as a batsman and captain is also something KKR will need to address immediately. The Englishman has scored just 45 runs in the 5 games he has played so far.
Impact of tonight's result on other teams
With Rajasthan's win, Sunrisers Hyderabad move further down the points table and occupy the 7th place. The David Warner-led team will look to change this when they face off against the Delhi Capitals in Chennai on Sunday, April 25..
While KKR's loss will allow Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad to breathe a sigh of relief, Rajasthan Royals' rise is something all teams should be wary of. The tournament is less than half-way through and we have often seen teams scripting remarkable turnarounds in the latter half of the IPL.
Having said that, KKR have a lot of catching up to do after losing 4 games out of 5 if they want to stay in contention for an IPL play-off berth.