Image Credits: FISTO STAFF
Rajasthan Royals’ two-game winning streak is no more.
It is the kind of trap game that teams fear when in the start of a stretch of good play. It was a dramatic change of fortunes for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 12 of Indian Premier League as they slumped to a heavy 37-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Dubai.
A brilliant comprehensive all-round performance from the bowling department of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) complemented by Shubman Gill's classy 47, ensured KKR outplayed the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 12th match of Dream 11 IPL 2020 by 37 runs.
That's that from Match 12 as the @KKRiders win by 37 runs and register their second win of the season.#Dream11IPL #RRvKKR pic.twitter.com/WkssQH4pvD— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 30, 2020
This was quite an important victory for KKR as they not only jumped up to the 2nd position in the points table but also made sure the net run rate is on their side. This was the first loss for RR in this season and they have to go back to the drawing board and retrospect on some key areas. Meanwhile KKR would be extremely elated with this all-round team performance and especially by the way, the young bowlers of KKR stood out. Grit and determination were on display as the KKR bowlers ripped through the star-studded line-up of RR. Winning the toss, Steve Smith put DK’s troops to bat first which eventually turned out to be a mistake for the Men in Pink.
Shubman Gill’s masterclass
Shubman Gill, the prodigy from Punjab is having an exceptional IPL so far. After scoring a sublime 70* (62) in the previous match, Gill was riding high on confidence and yet again displayed his class with a flamboyant 47(34).
Opening the innings, Gill's 47 was laced with 5 boundaries and 1 six. Playing the role of a perfect sheet anchor, Gill steadied the innings after the departure of Sunil Narine and was displaying class with every single shot of his. His resilience was also on display during the 8th over. After a mistimed slog sweet fell in no man's land, Gill came back strong and smashed one four down the ground to look set. He made sure the runs kept coming from one end and eventually fell prey to Jofra Archer's ripper of a delivery.
Dre Russ’s short stay at the crease
A lot was expected from the Jamaican legend. After a brief stay in the crease first game, Russell really needed a platform to explode. And today seemed like the perfect stage set, especially for him. Sent in at number 4, Andre Russell looked very confident from ball 1 and smashed 3 sixes before getting outfoxed by a tactical ball off Ankit Rajpoot. 24 off 13 and the bucannering batsman from West Indies eventually had to head back to the pavilion. Isn't it too much for us fans to ask for a replica of last season? I mean things are good for KKR as they do not have to depend on a single person to carry forward their innings. This is a good sign as there are pretty other players whom KKR can count on. But entertainment wise and KKR's innings wise, we all needed a big innings from Russell. His wicket made things difficult for KKR as they were looming at 115-5 with half their side back in the dugout. At a time when KKR had Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill on strike, a 200 plus score was still on the cards.
RR bowlers did a great job putting a break on the KKR run-flow
At a time when Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill were batting, they kept maintaining a superb run rate of around 8 an over. Both of them got into the groove really quick and stitched a 47-run partnership before Rana got dismissed off Rahul Tewatia. But still with the firepower that KKR had left, 180+ was a fair possibility. Dre Russ came and tonked away some sixes but DK and Russell fell in quick succession which put KKR in a spot of bother. Jofra Archer was possibly in the form of his life as he delivered quickfire deliveries and excelled at the proper lengths and lines. Picking up 4 wickets wickets at an economy of 4.5, Jofra Archer was undoubtedly the star of the bowling department of RR. On the other hand, though Ankit Rajpoot was a little expensive, his pace variations were incredible and shattered KKR's dreams of gigantic total.
A dream start by KKR bowlers
An inexperienced bowling department but no dearth of raw talent. That's the story of KKR's bowling attack this year. Spearheaded by Pat Cummins, KKR's bowling department were in hot blistering form in the initial overs as they humbled the RR batsmen to 42-5. Strange, isn't this? Dark horses, these KKR bowlers are. Complemented by some superb work in the outfield by KKR fielders. Shubhman Gill's low-catch at gully requires immense recognition as it wasn't an easy catch at all, but he made it look very easy.
Curran's gritty 50
Mavi with another biggie. Jos Buttler departs after scoring 21 runs.#RR 3 down with 39 on the board.
Live - https://t.co/7Yqc9gOGTX #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/0Z4Tb1u0pz— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 30, 2020
At a time when the entire top-order of RR collapsed for a paltry score, Tom Curran stepped up the ranks and produced a stellar performance with the bat. The lone horse in Rajasthan's line-up, his innings though wasn't that impactful in spite of the fact that it stood out. Scoring 54 of 36 balls, Curran remained not out till the very end and ensured the run rate doesn't go down drastically for RR. This really is a huge positive for RR as they have a lot of depth in their batting as Arched and Curran look in staggering form and can tonk the bowlers out of the park.
We had an exclusive conversation with T. Arvind Arunachalam of Kongu Engineering college and VB Cricket Academy and he opined that Cummins would play a crucial role in picking up the prized wicket of Steve Smith and absolutely pin-point analysis. Steve Smith was caught behind off a ripper of a delivery by Pat Cummins. He also said that Kuldeep Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy would break the middle order backbone of RR and yes, Varun did take the wicket of Rahul Tewatia and Jofra Archer. If RR had any chance of winning this one, Tewatia and Archer had to step up, but we failed to witness that and boy, what crazy bowling from the two spinners! When it comes to KKR' batting, Narine and Gill did play well in the powerplay as mentioned by Arvind himself.
We also had an exclusive conversation with Dhinaeshwaran NK of Kamaraj college of engineering and technology and he opined that, Robin Uthappa should have been promoted up the order. Yes, he did come at number 4 failed to leave any impact when his team needed it the most. But the team changes which were suggested by Dhinaeshwaran were not implemented by RR as they wanted to stick to their winning combination. He also opined that Russell should be neutralized by Archer's bowling and that was not really the case as Russell fell prey to Rajpoot's witty bowling.
Acclimatization to the conditions was a huge task for RR as they previously played all their matches in Sharjah which has smaller grounds and naturally, they scored 200+ in both the games. Slow and sluggish conditions with a huge ground were the blueprint of Dubai International stadium and it felt as if it was a huge task for RR to get accustomed to all the conditions out here.
Match result: KKR beat RR by 37 runs
Man of the Match: Shivam Mavi