The Kolkata Knight Riders had to give the answer to the century of Joss Butler’s 18.75 strike rate. Opener Aaron Finch started but could not finish.
Shreyas Iyer also tried. Rajasthan Royals got the last smile on spinner Yuzbendra Chahal’s hat-trick despite Kolkata captain getting the fragrance of century in 18.6 strike rate. Kolkata lost by 7 runs after being bowled out for 210 in a thrilling match.
Earlier, Rajasthan Butler batted for 103 off 61 balls and scored 216 runs for 5 wickets. Kolkata needed 51 runs in the last 5 overs to chase down. Shreyas was unbeaten on 7 off 46 balls. It was understood that Kolkata’s victory depended on Shreyas’ bat. But Kolkata wanted to show their magic by keeping a distance of 40 runs from 24 balls.
Venkatesh Iyer (6) was first stumped in his googly, after two balls, Kolkata digested the biggest push. Chahal traps Shreyas in lbw. With Shreyas’ 75 off 51 balls, Kolkata’s hopes of victory were dashed. But Chahal did not stop there. The Rajasthan spinner also picked up Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins in the last two balls of the over and gave away his 21st hat-trick in the IPL.
Umesh Yadav struggled a bit but Kolkata could not match the score of 36 runs in the last three overs. The Indian fast bowler dreamed of turning Kolkata around with two sixes and fours in the 18th over by Trent Bolt. Umesh Yadav and Sheldon Jackson stood at a distance of 18 runs to win the last two overs by taking 20 runs from this over of Bolt.
Earlier, the Australian opener Finch gave a great start to Kolkata by scoring 57 runs from 26 balls. Shreyas took the helm in the ninth over after Finch was dismissed for a famous crunch. In the 13th and 14th overs, Kolkata lost to Nitish Rana and Andre Russell.
In the 14th over, Rajasthan spinner Ravichandran Ashwin fooled Russell with a carom ball and gave him a ‘Golden Duck’. After Sunil Narine was run out in the first ball of the innings, Kolkata was under pressure. Though Finch and Shreyas crossed the road together, Kolkata could not match the 11-run equation in the last over.
Debutant Caribbean fast bowler Obed McCoy picked up Jackson and Umesh in the last over to give Rajasthan a great victory. Umesh’s innings of 21 off 9 balls will be a pity for Kolkata fans. Chahal took 5 wickets for 40 runs. Narine took 2 wickets for Kolkata.
In Rajasthan’s innings, almost the whole of Butler was exposed. Butler picked up a century off 59 balls. His 103-run innings off 61 balls with 5 sixes and 9 fours will be remembered by Rajasthan fans for a long time.
Butler picked up three centuries in a total of seven innings in the last IPL and this edition. He scored two centuries in this IPL. Butler also has the highest number of runs, centuries and maximum four-sixes in the IPL so far.