Jaiswal and Chahal set records and advance RR to third place

Yuzvendra Chahal and Yashasvi Jaiswal set two significant personal records while leading Rajasthan Royals to a decisive victory over Kolkata Knight Riders and a move into third place in the standings. After taking out Nitish Rana, Chahal picked up three more wickets for a total of four for twenty-five, becoming the IPL’s all-time highest wicket-taker. Jaiswal reached the fastest half-century in the history of the competition in just 13 balls, and he concluded with 98* off 47 as RR defeated KKR’s 149/8 total with 9 wickets and 41 balls remaining.

The Yashasvi Jaiswal storm

Nitish Rana elected to bowl the first over himself on a slow Eden Gardens surface. Yashasvi Jaiswal responded by dancing down the track for a six over long on the first ball. The next ball was hauled over the deep backward square leg fence by the RR opener, who then proceeded to peel off three more fours in the same over – one exquisite cover drive and two cuts through point. Rana allowed 26 runs in their 149/8 defense, the second most expensive first in the tournament.

The Jaiswal avalanche didn’t stop at ending Rana’s experiment; the RR opener continued to destroy the bowling of Harshit Rana and Shardul Thakur in the second and third overs, respectively, to reach a half-century in just 13 balls, which is the fastest in IPL history. Jos Buttler was out for a third-ball duck from a run out during the frantic beginning of the chase, but Jaiswal prevented RR from feeling the pain. In the PowerPlay, the visitors scored 78 points, 62 of which came from Jaiswal’s willow.

The blitz following PowerPlay

In just the first six overs, Jaiswal helped RR eliminate more than half of their target, and he continued in the same vein even when KKR began to spread out their fields. He assigned a spinner, Sunil Narine this time, to carry a six over extra cover in the seventh over, not for the first time that night. Tossing a short delivery to the left-hander, Suyash Sharma was hit over long-on for Jaiswal’s fifth six of the game.

Anukul Roy took Vaibhav Arora’s place as the extra spinner for KKR in this game, but Sanju Samson and Jaiswal treated all of the spinners with a bit of disdain. The RR captain joined in the fun by extending a six-over long off to welcome Anukul. Samson finished that first and only over from Roy with two more sixes, one down the middle and the other over long-on, for a total of 20 runs.

Rana then moved to Chakravarthy, who had only allowed 15 runs in his two overs, a reasonable total given the chase, but he too was mistreated. He started off by throwing a short ball to Jaiswal, who pulled it for four. A half-tracker received even harsher treatment from Samson, who drove it far into the cow corner stands. With a four on the first ball of the 14th over, Jaiswal put an impressive end to the chase and the remarkable midseason slump for RR (5 losses in the previous six games).

Regarding the opening innings…

Unusual PowerPlay problems for KKR

This IPL, KKR have lost at least two wickets in 10 of the 12 innings. The host team’s habit of shaky starts persisted as they lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jason Roy to Trent Boult in the PowerPlay. But Shimron Hetmyer and Sandeep Sharma, who made great catches, got the wickets. First, Hetmyer intercepted Roy’s flick just outside the boundary as it was heading past the deep backward square leg fence. Then, Gurbaz drove uphill before being caught by a dove-tailing Sandeep Sharma at mid-off.

Middle pressure is increasing

Between the third and the ninth over, KKR endured a 29-ball stretch without scoring a boundary due to their inability to center the ball. By sweeping Joe Root for a four, Nitish Rana broke out of that slump. Even as Venkatesh Iyer made a cautious start against a barrage of spin bowling, the KKR captain hoped to lead his team’s comeback. Runs weren’t easy to come by, but the first over following the tactical pause provided KKR the breathing room they required. In the 18-run over that brought KKR to 76/2 in 10 overs, Iyer, Rana, and Ashwin all hit boundaries as Iyer reached the next level of his game.

Record and death-over knowledge of Chahal

Just as KKR seemed to be finding its footing, Samson introduced Chahal and received immediate satisfaction. Outside the off-stump, Rana received a pitch from Chahal, which the left-hander pulled for a slog sweep. However, Hetmyer made another excellent catch to remove the KKR captain and deliver Chahal his record-breaking 184th IPL wicket.

Iyer attacked Chahal in his second over, scoring 15 runs and putting KKR in position for a late surge that might have raised their total to a manageable one on the difficult pitch. However, Chahal once more thwarted KKR’s best-laid intentions. This season, Chahal has been one of RR’s most effective death-over weapons, and he delivered once more.

With a looping ball that the KKR batter cut to Boult at cover, he first halted Iyer in his tracks. In the same over, he caught Joe Root at long off after trapping Shardul Thakur leg before and applying dot-ball pressure to Rinku Singh, KKR’s top batsman this year. Chahal concluded his spell with 4 for 25 in 4 overs, limiting KKR to 149/8, which turned out to be woefully inadequate on the night.

What will the teams do next?

On Sunday, May 14, the afternoon game between the Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be played at home in Jaipur. Kolkata Knight Riders play CSK in Chennai on the same day.


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