KKR vs RR: Riyan Parag stars as Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets

17-year-old Riyan Parag played a knock worth remembering for a long time (47 off 31 balls) setting up Rajasthan Royals‘ three-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 43 of IPL 2019 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Wednesday.

RR were revived from 98/5 in 12.3 overs by Parag, who first combined with Shreyas Gopal (18 off nine balls) for a  stand of 25 runs and then with Jofra Archer for a stand of 43 runs off just 21 balls before departing hit wicket in the 19th over.

Archer then stepped up to finish off the game hitting a four and six with nine runs needed off the final over bowled by Prasidh Krishna. He finished with 27 off 12 balls. RR notched up their fourth win of the campaign while KKR slumped to their sixth straight defeat.

Earlier, Despite Rajasthan Royals putting in an inspired spell of bowling – courtesy their two bowling changes in Varun Aaron and debutant Oshane Thomas – KKR were buoyed by a 50-ball unbeaten 97-run knock from skipper Karthik who led the hosts to 175/6.

Karthik rebuild the innings coming in at 31/2 and finished with a big flurry taking just 15 balls to race from 50 to 97 with the help of seven fours and nine sixes. He took 16 runs off Archer‘s final over – the 19th of the innings – and then added 18 runs of the 20th, bowled by Unadkat.(IPL 2019, KKR vs RR: HIGHLIGHTS)

Andre Russell, who found himself out in the middle by the 12th over, was hampered by a shoulder niggle and despite being dropped twice failed to make the most of the opportunities falling for 14 off 14 balls, off an Thomas wide bouncer caught at deep mid by young Parag. Earlier, Stuart Binny had dropped Russell on 3 at deep point off Archer and then Prashant Chopra grassed a skier off Thomas to give Russell his second reprieve. Carlos Brathwaite, getting a game in place of Harry Gurney, also failed to get going and scored just five off three balls.

Karthik and Rinku Singh then added 44 runs for the seventh wicket to push KKR to 175/6. Karthik notched up his 19th IPL fifty.

For Rajasthan, Aaron finished with 2/20 his his four while Thomas returned 1/32 in his four. Shreyas Gopal and Jaydev Unadkat added one wicket each.

In chase, after RR’s rapid start – courtesy Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson – spinners brought KKR back in the game in the middle overs, as RR found themselves in a spot of bother. Rahane and Samson had combined for a stand of 53 runs in just 5.3 overs before the former was trapped in front by Narine for 34 off 21 balls in the sixth over.

Off the next over, Chawla had the well-set Samson tangled in a web and castled for 22 off 15 balls. Narine and Chawla were at their potent best and RR skipper Steve Smith and Ben Stokes found the going tough. Off the eight over, Narine had Smith cleaned up with a one that kept a tad low. Smith departed for two off six balls.

Introduction of pace, in the form of Prithivraj Yarra was a welcome come as Stokes and Riyan Parag got a boundary each of the pacer but Chawla had Stokes caught in the deep magnificently by Andre Russell for 11 off 10 balls, thus ending the England allrounder IPL 2019 sojourn on forgettable knock.  (IPL 2019, KKR vs RR: FOLLOW LATEST UPDATES)

Stuart Binny smashed a six off Chawla, a slog sweep over cow corner, to break the shackles, but the UP-born tweaker had the last laugh, sending back the Karnataka allrounder for 11 off 11 off his final over to finish the spell with 4-0-20-3.

While KKR were confident heading in to the buisness end of the match, Parag kept a cool head to anchor the chase.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 177/7 (Riyan Parag 47, Ajinkya Rahane 34; Piyush Chawla 3/20) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 175/6 (Dinesh Karthik 97, Nitish Rana 21; Varun Aaron 2/20) by three wickets.