Rajasthan Royals cruise to 22-run win over KKR

Rajasthan Royals cruise to 22-run win over KKR

Rajasthan Royals cruise to 22-run win over KKR

ODI specialist Manoj Tiwary scored a half-century but that wasn't enough as Rajasthan Royals coasted to a comfortable 22-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League match, here today.

Rajasthan registered their second win of the tournament today after thrashing Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs in their lung opener at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here.
Tiwary scored 59 off 49 balls with seven fours but could never force the issue as he ran out of partners till Brett Lee smashed a quickfire 25 off 11 balls with two fours and two sixes. Cooper cleaned up Lee but by then the match was as good as over.

With the likes Jacques Kallis (5), Brendon McCullum (2), Gautam Gambhir (0), Yusuf Pathan (15) again failed with the willow as Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise flattered to deceive as it has been the case in the four previous seasons.

Rajasthan bowlers maintained a disciplined line with Caribbean seamer Kevon Cooper being the pick of the bowlers with three for 28. Medium-pacers Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi and Mumbai left-arm spinner Ankit Chavan chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Earlier, Australia's T20 specialist Brad Hodge and local boy Ashok Menaria scored some quick runs to help Rajasthan Royals post a competitive total of 164 for five. Hodge hit a 29-ball 44 laced with two sixes and three fours while Menaria came up with 30-ball 40 that included one six and four boundaries after KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir elected to field in searing heat.

Owais Shah provided the late burst with a cameo of 11-ball 23, comprising of a six and couple of fours that helped Rajasthan cross the 150-run mark. Chasing a stiff target, Kolkata got off to a worst start as they lost four quick wickets inside six overs with just 25 runs on the board.

Rajasthan pacer Amit Singh dealt two consecutive blows to KKR in the form of South African veteran Jacques Kallis and skipper Gautam Gambhir in the second over. Kallis (5) was the first to depart caught by Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid at mid-off while trying to clear the region. Gambhir (0) followed suit the very next ball when Amit bowled a beauty that angled away after pitching as KKR skipper poked at it helplessly to glovesman Shreevats Goswami behind the stumps.

Spinner Ankit Chavan further compounded the misery for KKR when he dismissed New Zealander Brendon McCullum leg before for just two runs. Debabrata Das (12) too departed early bowled by West Indian Cooper as Kolkata were left reeling at 25 for four.

Talented Tiwary and explosive Pathan tried to resurrect the innings and forged a 41-run stand for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught by Hodge off Siddharth Trivedi at deep square leg.

Earlier, sent in to bat, Royals' Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 98 in their win over Kings XI Punjab, was run-out by a direct throw from skipper Gambhir stationed at mid-off. Even a dive couldn't save Rahane who was found atleast a yard short.

Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid started in right earnest when he hooked Lee for a six and then hit him for a four. Off-spinner Sunil Narine making his IPL debut was hit over fine leg for a six.

Dravid hit 24-ball 26 helped by two sixes and an equal numbers of fours before he became another run out victim. Goswami, who looked good for his 18-ball 23, could not capitalise on the start as he was cleaned up by Bhatia while trying to drive it through the covers.

The loss of two wickets somewhat put brakes on the scoring rate of Rajasthan as both Hodge and Menaria started dealing in singles and doubles to keep scoreboard ticking. Hodge broke the shackles in the 14th over bowled by Pathan when he hit the bowler for two huge sixes and a four to knock 17 runs from that over and took Rajasthan past the 100-run mark.

He then hit Kallis for two consecutive fours in the next over. Lee, who was called back for his second spell, put an end to Hodge's exploits when the Victorian was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum while trying to play a pre-determined reverse scoop.

New man in Shah made his intentions clear from the outset as he first hit Kallis for three fours and then clobbered Lee for a six and a four to take Rajasthan past 150-run mark.

Menaria was bowled by Lee in the 19th over when he tried to go high over the cover region but missed the hit.

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