A sensational hat-trick from Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in his fourth over and the 17th of the innings when Kolkata Knight Riders needed 39 runs to win off 24 balls to chase down 217 enabled the inaugural IPL champs to a thrilling seven-run win at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday. Chasing 218, the Knights seemed well placed to do the seemingly unthinkable thanks to a blazing half-century from Aaron Finch and a well-paced 85 from skipper Shreyas Iyer.
AS IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE
They were 178 for 4, but then Chahal got into the act getting the wickets of Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas, Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins, the last three off successive balls to star in a stunning turnaround. Umesh Yadav belted Trent Boult for 20 runs in his last over and the 18th of the innings to make it 18 needed off the last two.
Prasidh Krishna bowled a decent 19th over leaving the Knights with 11 runs of the last over bowled by debutant Obed McCoy. The West Indian held his nerve and dismissed Sheldon Jackson and Umesh Yadav to bowl the Royals to a famous win on a belter of a track.
Earlier, Jos Buttler was once again the centre of attraction as he played the anchor and aggressor both to race to 103 off 61 balls, his second century of the season, taking Rajasthan Royals to a grand 217/5. The English batter’s knock was laced with five sixes and nine fours.
With some late strikes after Buttler’s dismissal in the 17th over, KKR managed to pull Royals back, otherwise the total, the highest of this season, would have been even more. It was in the 20th over that Shimron Hetymer eventually was able to press the accelerator and hit two sixes and a four off Andre Russell.
It was Buttler’s show of brilliance that made the scoreboard look imposing. The opener looks intent on making the IPL 2022 season his best ever and the outing against KKR was one more step in that direction. His presence ensured that in the Powerplay, Royals could race to 60 for no loss. Buttler’s wide range of strokes, immaculate timing and considerable power was on full view.
Arguably the best T20 batter in the world, Buttler brought his 50 up in style, punching through mid-off for four, and was even more flamboyant bringing up his hundred, slamming Pat Cummins for a six over long-on. Accompanied by Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson and Hetymer at different stages of the game, the 31-year-old showed enviable sense of purpose throughout his 17-over stay at the crease.
At 24 from 18 balls, left-hand bat Padikkal fell prey to Sunil Narine‘s knuckle-ball in the 10th over. Samson, after a quickfire 38 off 19 balls, holed out at deep mid-wicket in the 16th over.