Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 8, 2013

Quicks fire Rajasthan Royals to second win


Rajasthan Royals 144 for 6 (Hodge 46*, Narine 2-28) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 125 (Morgan 51, Trivedi 3-23, Cooper 3-15) by 19 runs
Scorecard by ball-by-ball details

A brace of double-wicket overs from fast bowlers, Rahul Shukla and Siddharth Trivedi, was the decisive blow that secured a second consecutive victory for Rajasthan Royals this season. They did not pick a spinner on a fast and bouncy pitch in their first home game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium and the strategy worked; all five quicks took wickets and were able to prevent a dogged Eoin Morgan from single-handedly dragging Kolkata Knight Riders to the target.

Knight Riders had also read the pitch right, replacing the slower seamer L Balaji with Shami Ahmed, and Sunil Narine was their sole spinner. Narine, however, went for 18 in his third over - his most expensive in the IPL - as Royals managed to accumulate 144, because of a steady innings from Brad Hodge and a cameo from Dishant Yagnik. Their fast bowlers then vindicated their selections, dismissing Knight Riders in 19 overs.

Sreesanth opened the Royals' defence with a 14-run over but that did not set the tone. Shaun Tait hustled batsmen with speeds that touched 150 kph, and the less-heralded seamers did the damage. Shukla bustled in, bowling in the early 140 kph-range, and had immediate impact, demolishing Manvinder Bisla's stumps and drawing an edge from Jacques Kallis off successive deliveries in the third over.

In the seventh over Rahul Dravid brought on his fifth seamer, Trivedi, who trapped Manoj Tiwary lbw with his first ball, and then had Gautam Gambhir caught behind with his fifth. Knight Riders were floundering at 43 for 4. When Kevon Cooper drew another edge, this time from the potentially dangerous Yusuf Pathan, only Morgan remained in Royals' way.

Morgan was in the way for a while, transforming his innings that began scratchily into a threatening one with precise shots through the infield and over the boundary. His pick-up loft over long leg against Tait was the highlight and he kept the asking-rate under control. What he couldn't control, however, was the tendency of his partners to play rash shots - like Brett Lee did. At the start of the penultimate over, Knight Riders needed 23 off 12 but only had two wickets left. Morgan was bowled by Cooper first ball, and that was that.

The Royals innings had also suffered from the fall of regular wickets but they had Ajinkya Rahane anchoring the start and Brad Hodge staying until the finish to provide them with a competitive total. They recovered from the failure of Shane Watson, who was playing his first game of the season, and the fall of Dravid and Stuart Binny, who had played valuable innings in the victory against Delhi Daredevils.

Narine then derailed the innings in the 16th over, having Rahane caught behind and Cooper stumped. At 114 for 5 at the start of the 19th over, Royals needed something special and Hodge and Yagnik provided it. They attacked Narine for 18 runs, and then Hodge ensured 12 more came off the final over, as he finished on 46 to give his fast bowlers enough to defend.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Devashish on April 10, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    I think KKR should get rid of Yusuf Pathan and for good .... Pradeep Sangwan also should get an opportunity in place of Shami Ahmed .... Debabrata Das should play in place of Pathan .... My KKR XI (some changes in the batting line up as well) :::: 1. Bisla 2. Gambhir 3. McLaren 4. Morgan 5. Tiwary 6. Debabrata 7. Bhatia 8. Lee 9. Laxmi Shukla 10. Sangwan 11. Narine ..... McLaren can be used as a pinch hitter in place of in form Kallis

  • Al on April 9, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    Yusuf Pathan seems to have lost his touch. A little rest will do him good.

  • narbavi on April 9, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @trav696: That would mean Dravid should bat at 4 which isn't ideal, he needs to bat in the top 3 to make an impact and if we include kusal then we got to drop an overseas player, it won't happen as Hodge is vital to this young inexperienced middle order and Royals play either Faulkner/cooper for death bowling and either Tait/Edwards on a bouncy pitch and Badree/Hodge on a spinning wicket, they have the right combination!!

  • Dummy4 on April 9, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Rajasthan should bring Shah instead of Watson. Need Sanju & Sachin for Yagnik & Binny

  • Mohammed on April 9, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Yusuf Pathan has to be more than just potentially dangerous, Morgan showed the way all others were at sea.

  • trev on April 9, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @Narbavi, Watson is not even close to being the best T20 batsman in the world... and I am not saying that Kusal is either by the way. Watson isn't as great as everyone makes him to be. Kusal doesn't need to take watson's opening position, but take Yagnik's instead (opening pair: watson and kusal, rahane can bat down the order instead). @Majorraki, mate, u know about Kusal's batting but have u ever seen him keep or field before? He is a really good fielder and is a crazy keeper. I watched Yagnik bat and keep, there isn't much special about him so kusal should be in his spot. By the way, Kusal has already debuted for RR...

  • Dummy4 on April 9, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Although RR has won the match i think dravid did'nt pick right combination. 4 specialist fast bowlers???? when u have kooper and binny who can also bowl ...and tait nad sree are the bowler who are unpridictable for slog overs..any time they can deliver 20 odd run over...therefore i believe tait shud give way to other batsmen ..may be owais shah.

  • lasitha on April 9, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    @Narbavi,Jindal Priyank,Dravid_Gravitas----- the only difference between watson and perera is you people have seen watson in the intenational arena and not seen perea yet. But we have seen our man playing and i can assure you he is one of the best, the kind that can win the match alone by himself(gayle,macculum kind technically more sound than these two) . So my iindian friends you've got to take our word simply coz you guys havent seen the guy playing and we have. Im not saying he should be played in place of watson, he surely is one of the best when it comes to t20 ,may going with 3 batters and 1bowler would be a good option

  • SARFRAZ on April 9, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    yusuf pathan should play at no-3 so that he can play freely.balagi should play in all d matches for kkr not sami ahmed. great show by rr.....................!!

  • Adarsh on April 9, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Good game.In this match Dravid didn't use spinner to bowl,thats very interesting and it went in the favour of RR.Morgan played a very good innings but a little bit far from the win the game for his team.His wicket was the turning point of this match.