Rajasthan Royals pushed Kolkata Knight Riders to the bottom of the Indian Premier League table after a six-wicket victory on Saturday night.
Rajasthan’s multimillion dollar signing, Chris Morris of South Africa, grabbed 4-23 to restrict Kolkata to 133-9.
Captain Sanju Samson then anchored Rajasthan to 134-4 with seven balls to spare by compiling a nearly run-a-ball unbeaten 42.
“We could see in Morris’ eyes that we wanted the competition to get big batsmen out,” Samson said. “I just love to keep enjoying my batting, but nowadays I play according to a situation and try to win games for my team.”
Although Rajasthan’s problems in the batting powerplay continued, Samson kept his team on track with able support from David Miller, 24 not out, and Shivam Dube, 22.
Jos Buttler’s struggle at the top continued when he was trapped leg before wicket for 5 by legspinner Varun Chakarvarthy off his second ball. Yashasvi Jaiswal hit five boundaries in his 17-ball knock of 22, before he holed out in the deep as Rajasthan lost both openers within the first five overs. But Samson added 45 runs with Dube, and Miller twice survived lbw appeals against Shivam Mavi.
Earlier, Rajasthan’s left-arm fast bowlers Mustafizur Rahman (1-22) and Jaydev Unadkat (1-25) bowled impressively up front. Shubman Gill (11) and captain Eoin Morgan (0) struggled for their fifth successive game before they were run out.
Unadkat removed power-hitter Sunil Narine cheaply for 6 in the 10th over and top-scorer Rahul Tripathi, with 36, was deceived by Rahman’s slower delivery to get caught in the deep just when it looked the batsman had settled down.
Morris chipped in with four late wickets in his last two overs. They included dangerman Andre Russell, who was caught on the edge of the boundary by Miller. This was just Rajasthan's second win in this season's IPL. The Knight Riders, meanwhile, haven't won since their victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on 11 April.
“The batting was the letdown and we lacked a lot of intent throughout the whole innings,” Morgan said after his side lost a fourth successive game. “Possibly, we were 40 (runs) short, which is a lot in a T20 game (and) the bowlers had too much to do.”
Kolkata Knight Riders will face the Punjab Kings next on 26 April, while the Royals will try to build on their win against the Mumbai Indians on 29 April.
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