Knight Riders v Royals, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 29, 2014

Royals win on boundary count after tie and Super Over


Rajasthan Royals 152 for 5 (Rahane 72) tied with Kolkata Knight Riders 152 for 8 (Gambhir 45, Faulkner 3-11)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Super Over Rajasthan Royals 11 tied with Kolkata Knight Riders 11 and won the match on a higher boundary count

Play 05:48
Agarkar: 'Smart thinking from Smith'

A few days ago, individual brilliance from Chris Lynn had given Kolkata Knight Riders a win from nowhere, which sparked wild celebrations. Today they experienced what it was like to be on the receiving end of such an unexpected result. Knight Riders needed only 16 off 12 balls with six wickets in hand, when their middle and lower order capsized against James Faulkner in the penultimate over.

Shakib Al Hasan forced the match into a Super Over and Knight Riders would have been confident of Sunil Narine defending 12. But with three needed to win off the last ball, Steven Smith played a smart dab into the vacant space at extra cover and ran an easy two, levelling the match again and taking Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling win on the basis of a greater number of boundaries scored in the match.

For Knight Riders, it should have never come to that stage. Faulkner hadn't had the best of times in this year's IPL and was benched for a match after ordinary outings in his first three games, but bowled an inspirational over to turn the game on its head.

Cameos from Suryakumar Yadav and Shakib had almost brought Knight Riders on the doorstep of a smartly constructed innings and a win seemed there for the taking. They had added 49 runs in 26 balls. Then, Faulkner's slower balls, so effective last year, made a sparkling re-entry.

Yadav, looking for a big hit, sliced the first ball of the 19th over to long-off to fall for a 19-ball 31. It was still Knight Riders' game, but Faulkner's fourth and fifth deliveries proved to be the icing on his birthday cake as Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar missed straight deliveries to be bowled. Six balls, three wickets and 12 off nine became 12 off 6. With Shakib still around, Knight Riders still had some chance - they kept up with the task as Shakib squeezed a boundary off the first ball off the last over. Kane Richardson did not bowl the best of overs, serving leg-side balls and half-volleys. Shakib failed to connect properly again in the over, but managed to tie the game. However, Smith's presence of mind off the last delivery of the Super Over that won them two points showed Royals were in no mood to spoil Faulkner's birthday party.

One of the heartening side stories for the Knight Riders to emerge despite the loss was Gautam Gambhir's return to form. Gambhir didn't set the stage on fire - the slower Abu Dhabi pitch was never going to allow that sort of strokeplay and that's not Gambhir's game anyway - but his 45 from 44 deliveries was the ideal platform for the middle-order strokemakers.

Such had been the drought that Gambhir would have been satisfied with anything of substance; he had hardly spent any time in the middle. He ended up playing the solid knock that was needed at the top of the order following the template Ajinkya Rahane, who top-scored with 72, had set in the first half of the match. A pull shot off the gentle medium pace of Stuart Binny didn't run to the boundary but was the ideal tonic for a sagging spirit.

Once he had played a few balls though, Gambhir was in familiar territory, comfortably nudging the ball into the gaps and using his feet to the slower bowlers. Familiar with Rajat Bhatia's tricks, Gambhir handled his Delhi teammate with ease, once using his feet to carve a slower delivery over extra cover in trademark fashion. But he was caught in the boundary to a sweep shot, five short of his half-century. His team's fate followed a similar course: Solid, but not being able to finish it off.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on May 1, 2014, 19:54 GMT

    ramz30380 That 70 odd of Kallis was his best in 2013 and 2014 combined.He was also dropped in that match when he was going less than run a ball by Pollard.However, just look at his score and strike rate in the next four matches.Once in a blue moon performance will not do the job for you.Uthappa is a good opener and he can of course do what Kallis does.A 30 or 40 at run a ball.In fact, most of the batsmen of KKR can do it.When you are given the freedom of scoring at a run a ball, your average goes high.Kallis is not a opener by the way.KKR management is desperate to play him.So, they play him at a position where he does not have to score very fast.

  • Ramya on May 1, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    @ABCDEF_12345 - True tht Kallis didnt score well tht match but he did score a 46 ball 72 in the opening match against MI tht KKR won!

    T20 cricket also needs a man to hold one side up like wht Hussey, Badrinath were consistently doing for CSK, Sachin was doing it for MI & Rahul the young lad doing it for Sunrisers in the just concluded match!

    U choose a team based on wht is reqd on tht day - I agree with u tht Lynn & Tendo need to be given a run but at the cost of an opener? Uthappa is too unpredictable, GG is still finding his feet - so who will be there to take control of the ship in the starting overs?! I cant see anyone but Kallis do for KKR at the moment.

    Shakib's bowling will come in handy at the Eden gardens along with Narine - so only person I can see being benched for a place for Lynn/Tendo is Morkel. They can bring in both Vinay & Umesh Yadav alongside Debrata Das to add to the pace bowling & bring in either one!

  • mohammad on May 1, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    ramz30380 Yes, Kallis is a true warrior and sportsman and legend who scored 13 off 17 in that match(after a free hit+life) and contributed heavily to the loss.He played the whole 2013 season, KKR did not even qualify for top 4.You also know if Chris Lynn of Tendo was playing in place of Kallis in that match, KKR might have won it.

    Stability in T20 is not like that in ODI.You are say, chasing 180 and scored a 40 ball 42, how does that help the team? The remaining team members have to score actually 140 off 80 balls.Any decent player with a strike rate of 105 would have a average of 30+. There is nothing special in it.

    Kallis is a great but what made him great are ODI and test, not T20, so you know what I mean.Playing him in place of T20 specialist like Tendo never makes sense.One of the highest paid players in IPL is Pollard who does not even play test cricket.But he delivers, doesn't he? But is he a great like Kallis or Kallis will ever do what Pollard can do and does for his team?

  • Ramya on May 1, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    @ABCDEF_12345 - Kallis is anyday has better cricketing sense than most contemporary cricketers. Plz dont insult a true warrior of the game. He has an avg of 35:00 in T20Is against Shakib's 22:00!

    Kallis' role has always been to steady the innings on one end for KKR and tht role he has done well in the past. He is a pace bowler which is handy no matter which team he plays for! This yr its fine, but next yr w/o intl cricket experience Kallis cannot be pursued with.

    Yes, Kallis is a brand - Sachin - the little master, Dravid the Wall and Kallis the King are true ambassadors of the game - both on & off the field! Just playing alongside him will be an exp for so many youngsters.

    Whn avg BD players are treated like God by ur countrymen, then there is no harm in treating & appreciating Kallis for wht he has achieved!

  • Ramya on May 1, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @ ABIR CHOUDHURY - Moreover Shakib did take a run in the 2nd ball of the last over - he didnt take a two if thts wht ur refering to - My point was why did he take tht single as Chawla wud be facing the strike. Def by all means Shakib is a better bat & he shud have had the strike instead of giving it to someone who is a lesser bat than him!

  • Ramya on May 1, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    @ ABIR CHOUDHURY - Ofcourse I do rate Shakib as a good player and thts why I am wondering why he let Piyush Chawla take strike when he knew clearly tht 3 wkts had fallen at the other end?! 3 wkts in one over was bcoz of some fascinating bowling by Faulkner.

    I am not against Shakib or something, but I replied back to those who were praising him endlessly for his knock, which I have v.much agreed wud be praise worthy if he had finished it off -that was all! No offense! It was a good game of cricket and the ones who batted more sensibly won the game - Shakib cud have easily been tht hero, tht was wht I was trying to point out!

  • sharif on April 30, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    It was a bad luck that KKR lost this match but I hope they will learn from it. Very slow start and missing a big hitter in the middle order and even in super over.

    As I always say that KKR need Shakib, he may play bad in some game but he is a real match winner, with bowling and batting whatever you say. But Kolkata must need to play Lynn or Ryan for the death overs at the place of Morkel or may be Kallis. They really need minimum one big hitter and someone have to keep hitting from the start. The start is very slow but may be the inclusion of Bisla could work from the next match. As a fan of KKR I do always plan the best eleven for KKR and even I would love to see Ghambhir in the sideline to give a chance for DAS, but well he is back in form, 45 out of 44.. that was a disaster. Well.. KKR not going to exclude him, so he is in my dream KKR too-

    GG,Bisla,Sakib,JK,Manish,Yadav,Lynn,U.yadav,Chawla,Narine, vinay.

    Let Sakib to play at top order, he is not a big hitter to play on death.

  • nathaniel on April 30, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Without shakib's contribution with balling RR would have definitely made muchmore runs and won without any super over. Why some people blaming sakib when kallis bisla uthappa who are in the team for batting failed and left it for the allrounder sakib ? KKr lost becuz of field placement at superover , that boundary should not have happened as the fielder was supposed to be at the right place. To Bd fans, I am Bangladeshi and it is ridiculous to me that some of you insinuate sakib is the best in business ! He is clearly not , even for Bd t20 team Anamul Haque is much better pick than shakib .

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    @ ramz30380, it's really surprising the way you single out shakib for this loss. first you said it was 16 off 12 ball shakib could not pull it off, but you didn't say it was 3 wickets down in one over and shakib was on the other end! now you are saying he sent away chawla, he didn't run because it would have never been a single, if he was gone that would have been the end of it. you did not seem to blame the fielder in the super over who was not standing close to the rope, or those 3 quick wickets which turned around the game completely, but you find fault with shakib for not winning the game. if you were really neutral then you would have pointed out these factors. yes there are some crazy supporters who make silly statements on shakib, and you took it out on them by making these biased review of the game. the way you are talking about him it looks like you have so much expectation on him!

  • Android on April 30, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    Like Corey Anderson,Yusuf Pathan should also be tried at no 3 for couple of matches.