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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
May 5, 2014
Rajasthan Royals put in a collective batting effort as they scored 170 for four in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 game against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sardar Patel Motera, Ahmedabad. Under the hot blazing sun at Ahmedabad and with a bit of grass on the pitch, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and chose to bowl. The big news was that Kolkata dropped Jacques Kallis and brought in Ryan ten Doeschate. Piyush Chawla also made way for Umesh Yadav.
Karun Nair came into this game with all confidence after he smashed a match-winning fifty at Delhi. And, today he combined with Ajinkya Rahane to power Rajasthan to a very good start. Watching them bat in tandem was a treat for they played with all class and timing. Umesh Yadav was nonchalantly flicked through the leg-side for a four and six by Rahane in the fourth over. Nair swept Shakib Al Hasan with authority in his first over. By playing good cricketing shots, the pair ensured Rajasthan sped away to 50 in the powerplay.
However, soon after the powerplay, Rahane was run-out while pushing for a quick single. In came Sanju Samson and he got going with a couple of good shots for four through the off-side. But, Nair had slowed down and there was a boundary drought for a while as there were no boundaries for three overs between over no 9 and 12. But then, Nair broke the shackles by smashing a six off a Yadav full-toss over square-leg.
Just when Nair had picked up, he was stumped off Shakib’s bowling in the 14th over. Shane Watson entered and took the attack to Vinay Kumar in the 16th over. Watson took him apart for 18 runs with a couple of sixes and a four. Samson was dismissed by Narine in the next over when he holed out to the deep for 37.
Watson smashed 31 off 20 balls and was dismissed by Sunil Narine in the penultimate over when he hit one high in the air towards long-on. Suryakumar Yadav positioned himself well and held his balance while taking the catch near the ropes. Again, Kolkata’s spinners had done well. Shakib finished with one for 25 and Narine recorded two for 28. In the end, Kolkata pulled things back a little and did not let Rajasthan get away. In the last two overs, Rajasthan could only score 14 runs until the last ball, when Rajat Bhatia finished the innings with a six. The last five overs had gone for a total of 54.
Rajasthan Royals 170 for 6 in 20 overs (Karun Nair 44, Sanju Samson 37; Sunil Narine 2 for 28) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.
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