Images from Wednesday's IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals, in Dubai.
Kolkata Knight Riders turned in a fine all-round showing to outclass Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs in their Indian Premier League match, in Dubai, on Wednesday.
Asked to bat first, they put up 174 for 6 in 20 overs, thanks to good knocks from opener Shubman Gill (47) and Eoin Morgan (34 not out) in the middle overs, despite some excellent bowling by Jofra Archer (2 for 18).
In reply, Rajasthan Royals started disastrously, losing the key wickets of opener Steve Smith (3), Sanju Samson (8) and Jos Buttler (21), in that order by the seventh over, and never recovered.
Tom Curran made a late charge, scoring an unbeaten off 54 off 36 balls, including 2 fours and 3 sixes, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an end to their winning run.
Shivam Mavi 2-20, Kamlesh Nagarkoti 2-13 and Varun Chakravarthy 2-25 did the damage.
The victory was Kolkata Knight Riders’s second from three outings, while the Royals suffered their first defeat after two victories.
Buttler and Smith started the proceedings, looking to hit every ball in a 12-run first over by Sunil Narine. The in-form Smith survived a dropped catch off Pat Cummins but perished, caught-behind off an inside-edge.
Mavi then ended the dream run of Sanju Samson with a perfect bouncer, and followed it up by getting the dangerous-looking Buttler out after the Powerplay. With the top-three back in the pavilion, the Royals were reeling at 39.
Nagarkoti then joined the party, picking the wickets of Robin Uthappa (2) and Riyan Parag (1) in the space of four deliveries of his first over.
It was all over for the Royals after mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy grabbed the wickets of their last match hero Rahul Tewatia (14) and Archer (6).
Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders found a fast and furious Archer too hot to handle as they were restricted to 174 for 6.
Archer (2-18) hit the deck hard and clocked the fastest delivery of the tournament (152.1 kph) in a fiery spell, taking two key wickets of the Knight Riders -- opener Gill (47 from 34 balls) and skipper Dinesh Karthik (1) -- after the Royals opted to field.
With Archer triggering a mid-innings collapse, the big-hitting Andre Russell (24 from 14) too was dismissed cheaply and it was left to England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan (34 not out off 23 balls) to stay till the end and boost the total.
Archer bowled the first over of the match. There was full pace, in the range of 145-150kph, and it needed Gill's brilliance to see him off with just one run from it.
With Gill looking well-set for a second successive fifty, Archer was reintroduced in the 12th over and he dismissed the set opener straightway with a leading edge.
In his next over, he dismissed Karthik with a beauty. The pacy delivery went straight, with a bit of inswing, resulting in the Knight Riders skipper being forced play, and edge it to Jos Buttler.
Russell was finally promoted up, at No. 5, but the star Jamaican became victim of Ankit Rajpoot while trying to accelerate the scoring rate.
Russell's wicket meant Kolkata lost four wickets for 33 runs in the back-10 and playing with an extra bowler, it was left to Morgan to prop the total.