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The Report by Firdose Moonda
April 8, 2012
Rajasthan Royals 164 for 5 (Hodge 44, Menaria 40, Lee 2-29) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 143 (Tiwary 59, Cooper 3-28) by 22 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Three wickets in three balls from Rajasthan Royals early on derailed Kolkata Knight Riders' chase as Royals recorded their second win in two matches. Royals seized the advantage early on and held it until the end, with only Manoj Tiwary providing resistance.
Royals have never lost a match when they have put on a score of over 160 and that did not change as they defended mercilessly at their fortress in Jaipur. They engineered another poor batting performance from Kolkata who have lost both matches so far.
Having put on a comfortable score, Royals' captain Rahul Dravid chose to open the bowling with left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan but it was medium-pacer Amit Singh who made the first breakthrough. He used a clever change of pace to trap Jacques Kallis into playing early and scooping an easy catch to Dravid at mid-off. Amit's next delivery angled away from Gautam Gambhir, who could not resist a poke and was caught behind. Royals made it three in three when Chavan trapped Brendon McCullum in front off the next ball.
With their three biggest names out and only eight runs in the bank, Knight Riders were going to need something special to compete. If one person was to provide it, that person should have been Yusuf Pathan.
The big-hitter showed rare composure as he gave himself time to get in and waited for Johan Botha to come on before attacking. But his patience did not last long. He tried to heave a Siddharth Trivedi slower ball over mid-wicket but was well caught by Brad Hodge.
It was only a matter of time after Yusuf dismissal that the game was up for Knight Riders. Tiwary played a useful knock and scored the only half-century of the match. Brett Lee gave him company while hitting a few shots but Tiwary needed more support upfront than at the back end. Kevon Cooper's successful start to the season continued as he finished with three wickets.
Kolkata will have to think seriously about their selection as they left out Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for the second match in a row, opting to play West Indian offspinner Sunil Narine instead. Narine had an impressive but a quiet debut as he played a key part in tying Royals down in the middle of their innings.
A fourth-wicket stand of 64 between Hodge and Ashok Menaria and a late burst from Owais Shah propelled Royals. Hodge accelerated in the 14th over when Gambhir brought Yusuf back. Hodge treated Yusuf with disdain, taking 17 runs off his over. He smacked the first delivery over mid-wicket for six, cut the second behind point for four and smoked the fourth over long-on. Hodge went on to hit back-to-back fours off Jacques Kallis in his 44 off 29 balls.
His dismissal, caught behind while trying to play a reverse-scoop, opened the door for Owais to finish in style. He blitzed 23 off 11 balls to put Royals in a position from which they had never lost before, and didn't lose today.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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