Images from Sunday night's IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, in Jaipur.
Openers Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn tore the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack to shreds to help Kolkata Knight Riders notch up an easy eight-wicket win in their IPL match in Jaipur on Sunday.
Chasing 140 for victory, Narine (47) and Lynn (50) shared 91 runs for the opening stand from 51 deliveries to take the game away from Rajasthan Royals as the visitors stormed to victory with 6.1 overs to spare.
The win, which took KKR to the top of the table with eight points from five matches (4 wins and 1 loss), was the best of this season in terms of number of balls to spare.
Narine smashed a blistering 47, his best of this IPL season, from 25 balls from which he hit six fours and three sixes while Lynn stroked 50 from 32 deliveries, with the help of six boundaries and three sixes.
When Rajasthan Royals batted, the slow track at Sawai Man Singh stadium looked like a difficult one with the ball not coming on to the bat easily, but the KKR batsmen made the nature of the track irrelevant with runs and boundaries coming thick and fast, making most of the field restrictions in the first six overs of Powerplay.
The stadium was also engulfed by a sandstorm before the tie but in the end it was the home side who were were swept away by KKR who first put up a brilliant bowling performance to restrict the Royals to 139/3 and then running away with the match in quick time.
Robin Uthappa gave the finishing touches with 26 not out from 16 balls as KKR reached 140 for 2 in 13.5 overs.
KKR took 10 runs from the first over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni with Lynn hitting two boundaries but more fireworks came in the second over with Narine smashing a six and four boundaries to take 22 runs off Krishnappa Gowtham.
The stunned home crowd then witnessed Rahul Tripathi dropping Narine in the first ball of the fourth over bowled by Kulkarni and then endured the agony of seeing a lucky Lynn survive despite an inside edge off his bat hitting the stump.
The inside edge glanced the leg stump but the bails could not be dislodged to the misery of Kulkarni and the home team.
The match was firmly in KKR's grasp as they raced to 65 for no loss in six overs.
Debutant leg-spinner Sudhesan Midhun looked promising for a few balls before Narine sent him for two sixes in the eighth over. Shreyas Gopal provided Rajasthan some relief with the wicket of Narine in the ninth over before he also scalped Lynn a few overs later but it proved to be too easy in the end for the visitors.
Earlier, Steve Smith scored an unbeaten 73 to anchor Rajasthan Royals to 139 for 3.
The former Australia captain registered his first half century of this IPL season in the process after the home side was invited to bat on a tricky track.
Smith, who returned to competitive cricket last month after serving one-year ban for his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, hit seven fours and one six off 59 deliveries in his unbeaten knock.
He shared 72 runs in 10.4 overs with opener Jos Buttler (37 off 34 balls) for the second wicket after captain Ajinkya Rahane was out cheaply for 5 in the second over.
On a slow track at the Sawai Mansingh stadium, runs were a premium as the ball did not come on to the bat easily. The stadium was also engulfed by a sandstorm before the tie but the match started on time.
The home side was 56 for 1 at the halfway stage but stepped up the scoring rate at the back end of the innings to add 83 runs from the next 10 overs with Smith scoring the bulk of the runs.
Rajasthan Royals were immediately at the backfoot as soon as the match started as Rahane was trapped leg before by Prasidh Krishna when the scoreboard read just 5.
Buttler hit a couple of fours in the fourth over, bowled by Krishna, but after that runs were hard to come by before one-down Smith hit another couple of boundaries in the ninth over off chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
Buttler hit the first six of the match off the fourth delivery of the 12th over, bowled by debutant pacer Harry Gurney (2/25), but was out the next ball while going for another big shot, with Subhman Gill taking a fine catch near the boundary ropes.
Smith got to 50 off 44 deliveries in the 15th over and after that opened up his arms in search of runs. He hit a massive six off Sunil Narine in the 18th over and a couple of boundaries in the next two to take Rajasthan Royals to a respectable total.
Ben Stokes, who shared 34 runs with Smith from 4.2 overs for the unconquered fourth wicket, was not out on 7 off 14 balls.