Skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s slow batting cost Rajasthan dearly as two-time champions Kolkata comfortably beat them by 25 runs in the Eliminator to set-up the IPL Qualifier-II clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
On a day when KKR star spinner Sunil Narine was expensive and was wicket-less, the likes of Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna and Kuldeep Yadav stepped up to restrict RR 144 for four after batsmen put on board 169 for seven.
KKR Skipper Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell had revived KKR with their magnificent batting as the hosts recovered from a disastrous start. They had their worst start of the season with K Gowtham (2/15) and Jofra Archer (2/33) reducing them to 46 for three inside the Powerplay overs.
Karthik continued his sublime form to lead them to safety with a 38-ball 52, containing four fours and two sixes while Russell came up with his destructive 29-ball unbeaten 49, studded with three boundaries and five sixes to propel the side to a fighting total.
RR began their chase in right earnest with Rahane (46 off 41) and Rahul Tripathi (20) adding 47 runs for the first wicket. Sanju Samson played a smart inning of 50 runs from 38 balls but leg-spinner Piyush Chawla removed Tripathi and Samson to tilt the match in the hosts’ favour.
Rahane batted too slow, playing a lot of dot balls, and the asking rate kept mounting. When Rahane departed it was tough ask for the batsmen at the crease. Rahane got 22 runs from five boundaries but consumed 36 balls for remaining 24 runs.