KOLKATA: Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav starred with an impressive four-wicket spell as he guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
Kuldeep (4/20) flummoxed Rajasthan Royals batsmen with his wrist spin as the visitors were bowled out for 142 from 19 overs after being sent into bat.
KKR chased down the small target with two overs to spare with Chris Lynn top-scoring with a 42-ball 45 while skipper Dinesh Karthik remaining not out on 41 off 31 deliveries. Karthik took his side home with a six as KKR reached 145 for 4 in 18 overs.
Sunil Narine played a typical but brief explosive innings of 21 off just seven balls at the top of the innings to lay the foundation of the successful run chase.
Except for Narine, all the KKR batsmen chose to bat in business-like fashion, shunning extravagance and looking for loose deliveries for boundaries.
With this win, KKR kept themselves in the hunt for a play-offs spot with 14 points from 13 matches as they remained at the third spot.
Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, stuck on 12 points from 13 matches and they will now find it difficult to make it to the play-offs though theoretically still in contention.
Opener Narine gave KKR a flying start taking K Gowtham to cleaners with 21 runs from the first over with two fours and two sixes.
Ben Stokes claimed two wickets – that of Narine and Robin Uthappa (4) – in successive overs en route to his superb 3/15 as KKR looked in a spot of bother with 69/3, requiring 74 from 70 balls.
But Lynn remained steady and cut down his strokes to anchor the innings. He and Karthik batted sensibly to put together 48 runs before the Australian became Stokes’ third victim but by then the equation had come down to a simple 26 from 28 balls.
Earlier, Kuldeep’s magical four-wicket spell flummoxed Rajasthan Royals as KKR brilliantly turned it around with a superb bowling show to bundle out the visitors for 142.
Sent in, RR were looking ominous at 59 for no loss after four overs, already their highest inside the powerplay, before the home side triggered a batting collapse on the visitors in the middle overs by taking six wickets for 31 runs.
With none of their middle-order batsmen showing any fight, it would have been worse for RR but No 8 Jaydev Unadkat struck 26 from 18 balls (3×4, 1×6) before Prasidh Krishna dismissed him to end the innings in the 19th over.