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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Apr 29, 2014
Rajasthan Royals beat the Kolkata Knight Riders in the most exciting game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. The two teams were first tied on 152, and then in the Super Over as well, both sides scored 11 runs. However, Rajasthan take the two points by virtue of hitting more boundaries in the match.This was easily the most dramatic match of the IPL 2014.
With 16 required off two overs and six wickets in hand, Kolkata were certain to win as Shakib Al Hasan and Suryakumar Yadav were well-set. But James Faulkner bowled a brilliant penultimate over taking three wickets and conceding only four runs.And then in a dramatic finish, Shakib managed to tie the game with three runs needed off the last ball. Rajasthan had scored 152 and Kolkata scored 152 for eight.
With the game moving into the Super Over, Kolkata lost Yadav off the first ball as he was run-out. But then Manish Pandey smashed a six to take Kolkata to 11. Sunil Narine then came on to bowl the Super Over and conceded only four off the first three balls. Watson then smashed a four over mid-wicket. Then, three were required off the last ball, when Steven Smith blocked one and ran two, which was enough to seal victory.
On a wicket that is known to be tough for chasing, Shane Watson won the toss and elected to bat. Kolkata made three changes to their side with R Vinay Kumar, Shakib Al Hasan and Manvinder Bisla replacing Umesh Yadav, Chris Lynn and Yusuf Pathan. Rajasthan brought back James Faulkner in place of Tim Southee. Iqbal Abdulla also came into the side as Abhishek Nayar was dropped.
Rajasthan’s innings was very well paced with Ajinkya Rahane anchoring the innings. It is interesting to note that he went unnoticed for a major part of the innings. If there was anything, the batsmen at the other end outshone him on a few occasions. Sanju Samson smashed four fours of a Morne Morkel over, which went for 20. Some of the strokeplay was amazing as the fearlessness of Samson’s youth took on the might of Morkel.
Watson also contributed some quick runs in a 64-run stand with Rahane that lasted 7.3 overs. In one of the overs by Piyush Chawla, Watson was able to hit three boundaries and his promising innings ended on the cusp of the slog-overs. Watson scored 33 off 24 when he misjudged a second run in the 16th over. However, Rahane had just about picked up and reached his half-century. In the last four overs, Rajasthan lost a few wickets, including that of Rahane in the last over for 72. But, Steven Smith’s proactive running helped Rajasthan push past 150 to register a competitive total.
Kolkata had a new opening pair for this game with Bisla walking out with Gambhir. It was an encouraging sight for Kolkata when Gambhir started confidently, placing the ball for singles and ready to pull anything short. However, Rajasthan bowled in the right channels and did not let Kolkata run away. Kane Richardson bowled a magnificent first spell when he had Bisla caught behind and conceded only six runs in his two overs.
Kallis was made to work hard for his runs in the centre. Although Gambhir did find his touch, all he could do was knock it around the ground for singles. Kallis and Gambhir could only add 28 runs in about five overs and ultimately, the South African holed out to the deep off Pravin Tambe in the 10th over. That was when Rajasthan started tightening the screws.
Tambe bowled a good spell in the middle although he was taken apart for runs. Manish Pandey looked dangerous when he smashed him for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries in the 13th over. However, Tambe came back to fire one in and trap him leg-before. Gambhir’s gritty knock of 45 came to an end when he tried to hit Rajat Bhatia over square-leg but was caught in the deep. At 88 for four in the 14th over, things looked tough when Shakib and Yadav came together.
It was Yadav who set the tone by attacking the bowling, essaying fearless sweeps against both pacers and spinners. It was an interesting move to send him ahead of Robin Uthappa, someone who is a more reputed batsman. From overs, 16 to 18, Kolkata smashed 36 runs with both Shakib and Yadav hitting it around. In the penultimate over of the game, Faulkner came back to dismiss Yadav for a well-made 19-ball 31. And to add to the drama, Robin Uthappa was dismissed first ball when he walked too far across the stumps and was bowled around the legs. The game then moved into the final over with 12 needed and Chawla was run-out in the midst of some confusion. Shakib still managed to tie the match then.
Rajasthan Royals 152 for 5 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 72, Shane Watson 33; R Vinay Kumar 1 for 30, Morne Morkel 1 for 40, Shakib Al Hasan 1 for 23) tied with Kolkata Knight Riders 152 for 8 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 45, Suryakumar Yadav 31; James Faulkner 3 for 11, Pravin Tambe 2 for 31).
Rajasthan tied with Kolkata in the Super Over, but win by virtue of hitting more boundaries in the match.
Man of the Match: James Faulkner.
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