KKR vs RR Match Highlights:
Rajasthan Royals 152/5
Kolkata Knight Riders (19.1/20 ov, T:153) 158/3
KKR won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Today’s tale was a lot similar to what we have seen in matches where Rajasthan Royals lose. Jos Butler gets out on a small score, the majority of batters are not able to pick up the pace. Hetmyer comes to the middle and tries to save it for Rajasthan and gets to a score that may require a little effort to chase and if the bowlers bowl extremely well, they may have a chance to even win. Did the bowlers bowl well? Yes! But it was not enough, they didn’t bowl exceptionally well. It was a classic Wankhede pitch that demanded runs to be scored at the pace of a bullet. If you played well, you would score like that but if you were not in the zone, you would miss it as most RR batters did and that led to KKR’s victory by 7 wickets.
Kudos to KKR’s bowling department who did a marvelous job in restricting Rajasthan to a measly score. It may seem impolite to say but the job was half done when Jos Buttler got out on a run-a-ball 22. The team’s understanding of the wicket might have gone wrong and inexperience caught up and they flunked. Sanju who was looking good earlier on too went real slow and the credits for this should go to KKR’s bowling department. On one hand, where we saw RR struggling to bat, we saw Rinku see flying fours and sixes across the stadium and that sealed the deal for KKR. The young talent deserves much appreciation and recognition.
Apart from this, a concern should be raised on the quality of umpiring that we are witnessing in IPL 2022. The match saw a few balls being declared wide which the experts claim they were not. It led to a momentum shift towards KKR in the death over and they went on the win the match.
The losing captain Sanju Samson did not look his happiest as he said “I think the wicket was a bit slow and they bowled really well, but with the batting we have I would have liked to score a few more boundaries at the end. I think we were short 15-20 runs. I have had a niggle the last few games but I’m recovering well and [my back] is fine. It was a great effort [in the field]. With the bowling and fielding we showed some real fight. The body language and energy was amazing. I think we could have batted a bit better and win the toss next time for sure. I think you have to keep on assessing the game and who is batting with you. Wickets at intervals, that’s what stopped myself to keep going with momentum. When I wanted to go hard, they bowled really well and we couldn’t execute our shots.”
Shreyas Iyer whose team finally won their fourth match of the tournament looked a satisfied as he said “Right from the Powerplay, when the bowlers came in and conceded around 36 runs in the Powerplay and getting a wicket, that was the start we needed. [On Umesh Yadav] The way he’s bowling those hard lengths, he’s increased his pace definitely. It’s really tough to bat against him in the nets. He’s got a set of plans which is really hard to read. As a captain, you just have to give him the ball and he’s always up to execute things. [On Sunil Narine] He’s a great asset for the team. Whenever I give him the ball, he’s ready to give me wickets. He turns out to be a very economical bowler at the same time. If he gets a wicket, he gets a big one. [On Rinku Singh] I was talking to my teammates in the dressing room and was like, the way he’s maintaining his calm even in such pressure situations playing his second or third game, it’s outstanding. Building that partnership with Nitish Rana in that situation, it’s something we have to praise about and he’s a great asset for the future in the franchise. The way he has given starts right from the first game, he doesn’t look like a newcomer in the team. We are looking for a great start. Every time I have to go in and build a partnership… I really love pressure but in every game, it really sweats out a lot of me.”
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: RINKU SINGH ( 42* off 23 and two catches)