Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Rajasthan Royals aces record run chase to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by two wickets

Jos Buttler played one of the great IPL knocks on Tuesday night.

His sensational 107 not out (60b, 9×4, 6×6) gave the Rajasthan Royals an unforgettable—and for much of the match – an unlikely last-ball win against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The two-wicket victory has consolidated the Royals’ position at the top of the table.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals 2024

RR was set a daunting target by the host, thanks largely to Sunil Narine’s maiden career century (109, 56b, 13×4, 6×6). If RR was to win, it had to equal its own record of the biggest successful chase in IPL history.

That didn’t look likely, when the Royals lost wickets regularly. When Shimron Hetmyer, who had taken them home in the last match, fell for a duck, the score read 121 for six in 12.2 overs.

A tall order it certainly was, with not much batting left. But Buttler’s 57-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Rovman Powell (26, 13b, 1×4, 3×6) allowed the Royals to dream.

The dream was realised by Buttler, the Impact Player who had just the tail to support him. Forty six were needed from the last three, then it came down to 28 off two.

Buttler took off 19 off the penultimate over, bowled by Harshit Rana, and then he hit Varun Chakravarthy’s first ball in the last over over long-on for a six to ease the nerves of his teammates in the dugout.

A single off the last ball dashed KKR’s hopes of a Super Over.

Like Buttler, Narine carried his team’s innings on his shoulders. He played strokes around this hallowed ground, but he seemed particularly keen to hit the bowlers over their heads.

Only one other batter reached 30, as the promising teenager Angkrish Raghuvanshi (30, 18b, 5×4) helped him add 85 for the second wicket. KKR had lost Phil Salt in the fourth over, as Avesh Khan took a stunning one-handed return catch off his own bowling.

Narine and Raghuvanshi, however, went on to frustrate the Royals bowler. It took a fine yorker from Trent Boult to end Narine’s remarkable innings.

But, this was going to be Buttler’s night.

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